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Army Cpl. Joshua A. Harton

Died September 18, 2010 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

23, of Bethlehem, Pa.; assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Fort Drum, N.Y.; died Sept. 18 in Kaftar Khan, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using small arms and rocket-propelled grenade fire.

Pa. soldier killed by roadside bomb in Afghanistan

The Associated Press

BETHLEHEM, Pa. — A soldier from eastern Pennsylvania has died in Afghanistan in an ambush as his platoon was on its way back from patrol.

The mother of 23-year-old Joshua Harton, of Bethlehem, said her son was the only casualty in the ambush Saturday.

Ruth Harton told The Morning Call of Allentown on Monday that Army representatives knocked on the door of her Bethlehem home early Sunday morning to deliver the news.

“We already knew,” she told the newspaper. “No one else comes to the door like that. As soon as I saw the uniforms, I knew.”

Joshua Harton had served a tour in Iraq and was most recently stationed at Forward Operating Base Griffin in Afghanistan. He spent three weeks at home last month and planned to go into law enforcement after his discharge, his mother said.

Ruth Harton said her son had always been fiercely loyal to his friends, at home and in the service. She doesn’t know the details of the ambush but said she was certain Joshua — the 50-caliber rear gunner in his platoon — was protecting his friends.

“He was going to protect his guys and he did,” she told WFMZ-TV. “That was Josh.”

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