PROVINCE, Afghanistan (6/22/2011) – The music from the
sound system, Pearl Jam's "Just Breathe," served as a somber
reminder of the day's occasion.|
“Yes I understand
that every life must end; As we sit alone, I know someday we
The 164th Military Police Company selected
the music for the memorial ceremony of Sgt. Joshua D.
Powell, a team leader from Tyler, Texas. Powell was one of
four military police officers from the 164th Military Police
Company, 793rd Military Police Battalion, 3rd Maneuver
Enhancement Brigade killed when an improvised explosive
device detonated June 4 outside the village of Khanda in
Laghman province, Afghanistan. Also killed were
Sgt. Devin A. Snyder, of
Cohockton, N.Y., Sgt.
Christopher R. Bell, of Saint Joseph, Mich., and Spc.
Spc. Robert L. Voakes, Jr.,
of Hancock, Mich.
Powell's experience included three
years of military service and two deployments, one of which
was to Afghanistan where he was wounded and decorated for
“With only one year of dwell time from his
last deployment, Sgt. Powell selflessly volunteered at the
first opportunity to redeploy and serve alongside his
brothers and sisters in arms yet again. Sgt. Powell
seamlessly transitioned from the 164th MP Company rear
detachment, to our forward deployed, 3rd Platoon in Mehtar
Lam. Upon arrival Sgt. Powell immediately took charge as a
team leader and quickly established his roots within the
platoon – demonstrating his uncanny ability to become an
invaluable part of the team in a very short amount of time,”
Powell's company commander, U.S. Army Capt. Christopher
Gehri, from Anchorage, Alaska, recalled.
members of Powell's platoon described him as a person who
lived for the excitement of deploying and who always wanted
to be outside the wire. His experience and knowledge also
made him extremely respected amongst his peers.
most of us here, I only had the honor to know Sgt. Powell
for a short amount of time,” U.S. Army Spc. Jacob Blackburn,
from Fairbanks, Alaska, a military police officer and one of
Powell's soldiers in the 164th, said during the remarks he
offered during the ceremony.
“However, in the time I
had the opportunity to work for him, I learned more from him
than any of my previous leaders. He was a very humble, yet
professional NCO. He was extremely knowledgeable of the way
things work while we are serving downrange. I would like it
to be known that Sgt. Powell's knowledge, advice and stories
of his past deployments not only prepared us as soldiers but
enlightened us and gave us insight as to what to expect.”
Other soldiers remembered a lighter side of Powell.
“Let me tell you about Sgt. Powell,” Sgt. Jonathan Enlow,
a team leader with the 164th from Tahlequah, Okla., said.
“He was probably the most country bumpkin/closet genius I
ever met. He had a very distinctive drawl, and always walked
around with an incessant grin. He had a crazy laugh that
always made everyone else laugh.”
“He was goofy, but
intelligent. And when it came to a mission there was nothing
he couldn't be entrusted with, he was the consummate
professional, and I don't know anybody that was more
disciplined. Here was this guy who was extremely goofy and
liked to have a good time, but everything he did demanded
“He loved his job,” Staff Sgt. Vincent
Vetterkind, a squad leader with the 164th from Wausau, Wis.,
added. “He ate, slept and dreamed the Army.”
was born Sept. 8, 1982, in Tyler, Texas, and joined the Army
in 2004. He had served with the 984th MP Company, Fort
Carson, Colo., and served as a squad leader, team leader and
military police patrolman.
His military awards
include the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, Army Commendation
with “V” device, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement
Medal, Valorous Unit Award, Army Good Conduct Medal,
National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal,
Global War on Terrorism Medal, Global War on Terrorism
Expeditionary Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Ribbon,
North Atlantic Treaty Organization Medal and the Combat
He is survived by his wife.