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Alumnus Joshua Deese killed in Iraq

By Carol Franch

UNCP graduate 1st Lt. Joshua Deese, 25, died  Oct. 15 in Balad, Iraq, from injuries following a roadside bomb explosion near his vehicle.            

Deese was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division,Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

The son of Ronnie and Rogina Deese, he was born in Scotland County but later moved to Rowland in Robeson County with his family.                  

UNCP graduate and 1st Lt. Joshua Deese died in Balad, Iraq, on Oct. 15.

Phi Sigma Nu Photo
UNCP graduate and 1st Lt. Joshua Deese died in Balad, Iraq, on Oct. 15.

He was an American Studies major and a member of Phi Sigma Nu, a Native American fraternity.

“Josh was a great friend and fraternity brother, one of the coolest guys I’ve ever met. Phi Sigma Nu honors our fallen brother and praise him for his courage,” Phi Sigma Nu Alumni Champ Dial said.            

Rogina Deese told The Laurinburg Exchange, “He was a lovable child. He talked to me about everything and when he was in Hawaii, we talked two or three times a day.

“We were very close, a very close family,” Deese said.            

According to Master Sgt. John Torre, upon graduation from the University’s ROTC program, Deese was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant.

“He was a good kid, and we enjoyed having him in our program for four years,” Torre said.            

“He came to us fresh out of high school.  He was a good leader who liked to lead from the front,” Torre said. “He was very competitive physically and was on our Ranger Challenge team in 2002 that finished third out of 33 schools.”

Chancellor Allen C. Meadors, in a statement from the University, said, "We received the news of Joshua Deese’s untimely death with great sadness.              

“While we grieve the loss of any life, the loss of one of our own unites us in sorrow. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Joshua’s family.”           

Deese was in his second deployment to the Middle East.

“We just lost a great American in Josh Deese,” UNCP graduate 2nd Lt. Alex Creammer said.            

Faculty adviser to Deese and history department assistant professor Dr. Stephen Berry remembers Deese as a good student.

“He was a smart kid, affable and handsome; he was very bright and smiled easily. He had a lot of integrity and tried to do the right things,” Berry said.


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Updated: Monday, November 6, 2006
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