Joshua, but of course he is known as Josh, had the good looks and an infectious laugh that could warm up any room, and it helped that he had a wicked sense of humour. He was full of life and yet, hard-working.

His mother raised him with Christian values and traditions. This fostered in him the desire to live a life of service to others. Josh left Ontario for Edmonton when he was only 18, right after high school. His intention was to qualify for the Edmonton Police Service, but first he needed experience and maturity. So, he joined the Princess Pats where he could both serve his country and receive training and gain some life experience. He stayed true to his Christian faith and if it wasn’t seen as “cool” in the barracks to read his Bible daily, he did it anyway. Often at bedtime, after a hard day of training or work, he could be seen fast asleep, his Bible still held in his hands.

Josh loved music, and even took piano lessons but suffered from the same affliction that many young piano students have–he disliked practising. Apparently, that did not destroy his love of music since he always had his own song in his head which could make him bust out into a dance move or two. He listened to music from his crammed iPod, even singing along on occasion.

He willingly put his energy into sports and the required practises. Josh also believed in being fit and worked out regularly to stay strong and robust. He also took interest in the French language and worked to become fluent, far outpacing his tutor.

Josh loved his family and his friends. He proudly bought a house in Edmonton when he was home on his first leave. He was delighted that it backed onto a soccer field so that he and his two young nephews could practice together there. One nephew even named his teddy, Joshy Bear, after him. Josh’s young niece was not forgotten. He purchased a bicycle for her, which she has long outgrown but she keeps it because Josh was such a good uncle to them. He loved to come to their birthday parties, and fully participate, even if it meant wearing a Winnie the Pooh hat all afternoon.

Travel was important to him. One of his favourite memories is a trip to Las Vegas with two of his best buddies. They managed to take photos, and even videos, to record their great time which gave hours of joyful remembering after. He was a good friend. Any friend that gave him a lift home was always invited in for a visit – or even cake.

Josh had integrity and wrote a short essay answering, “Why do you do what you do?” He knew why he chose to be a soldier, knew he was good at it and proud of it. He understood the value his contribution could make.

By Janet Rolfson

Portrait by Shairl Honey