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Army Staff Sgt. Joshua R. Townsend

Died January 16, 2009 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

30, of Solvang, Calif.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg , N.C.; died Jan. 16 in Tarin Kowt, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained in a non-combat related incident.

Townsend ‘was proud … to serve his country’

The Associated Press

While at basic training or later trying to make the Special Forces, Joshua R. Townsend wouldn’t — couldn’t — give up.

“While many guys were quitting because of the absence of comfort, Josh pushed through the pain and completed the course,” said Rusty Whitt, a fellow soldier.

Townsend, 30, of Solvang, Calif., died Jan. 16 in Tarin Kowt, Afghanistan, of wounds from non-combat related causes. He was a 1997 high school graduate and was assigned to Fort Bragg.

In his Facebook profile, Townsend wrote that he enjoyed playing with his three Pug dogs, going to the movies, working on his house and “most of all, spending time with my wife Rachel.”

He loved to listen to his wife singing and playing the guitar, enjoyed Play Station 3 and was a fan of the History Channel.

“He was a fearless, red-bearded Viking with a devil-may-care attitude who was proud and motivated to serve his country,” Whitt said.

Townsend attended Santa Barbara City College and Hancock Community College. He joined the Army in 2003, was a Special Forces weapons sergeant and earned his Green Beret in 2005.

“He kept us laughing constantly,” Whitt said.

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