Do you have a friend that has made you a BETTER PERSON, just for knowing them? That is who Josh is for my husband. This is the story of a TRUE American Hero. Josh was my husband's fraternity little brother and we are heartbroken that he is gone. I have a lot to say about Josh but right now, I think his greatness speaks for itself.
Captain Joshua S. Meadows, 30, of Elgin, Texas, died September 5, 2009, while conducting combat operations in Farah province, Afghanistan, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He was assigned to 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, based at Camp Pendleton, California.
He is survived by his wife, Angela Foster Meadows, his mother, Jan H. Meadows of Elgin, Texas and his sister, Erin Read Meadows of Monument, Colorado. He was preceded in death by his father, Robert Read Meadows. He is also survived by his uncles, Henry E. Meadows, Thomas O. Meadows and John B. Meadows and their families, his mother-in-law, Debbie Foster of Midland, Texas and his brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Leland and Starr Foster of Sterling City, Texas. Josh leaves behind a host of family and friends whom he dearly loved.
Captain Meadows joined the Marine Corps on Sept. 28, 1996 and was trained as a Pilot UH-1N Qualified. He was promoted to Captain on July 1, 2006, joining MARSOC on May 28, 2009. His decorations include a Purple Heart Medal, Bronze Star with a combat "V", a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Unit Commendation, Selected Marine Corps Reserve Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with bronze campaign star, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with two bronze stars, Rifle Expert Badge (4), and a Pistol Expert Badge (4).
Captain Meadows graduated from Elgin High School in 1997 and joined the U.S. Marine Corps while he was enrolled in school. He was an Eagle Scout and earned his private pilot's license at the age of 16. Josh was also a member of Texas First Families, Sons of the Republic of Texas and Sons of the Confederate Veterans. He was listed as active duty in May 1997 and then reported to boot camp in San Diego. In January 1998, he enrolled at Texas Tech University and served as a member of a reserve unit in Austin, where he attended monthly drills and spent six weeks in the summer with his unit. He was commissioned as a 2nd Lt in December of 2001 and was designated a Naval Aviator in March 2004.
Josh met his wife, Angela, while they were both at Tech. Meadows graduated from TTU with a degree in business and was president of his Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. He then was commissioned as an officer and attended a two-year program in flight school. During that time, Meadows was stationed in Pensacola, Florida and Corpus Christi. It was at this time that Angela and Josh married in Midland, Texas, the home of the bride and the former home of Josh's father's family. The Meadows moved to Carlsbad, CA where Josh was stationed at Camp Pendleton for more than five years and flew Huey helicopters. In November of 2008 Captain Meadows was assigned to a special forces team unrelated to flying. Josh and Angela are expecting their first child in a few weeks.
Josh and Angela were partners in the family ranching business with Angela's brother, Leland Foster and his wife, Starr. Josh and Angela were planning a move back to the ranch when his service to our nation was done. Josh loved the ranch and had the same love for the land and animals that he had for his country and the Marine Corp.
An accomplished Marine, Josh was very proud to serve his country and had been deployed overseas several times throughout his military career. In August of 2008, Meadows was the lead Marine Corps Huey helicopter pilot seeing action in the Gulf of Aden in an operation that prevented a pirate attack on the Gem of Kilakarai, a Singapore cargo ship. Marines with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, were deployed aboard the USS Peleliu provided aerial support and explosive ordnance disposal during the mission.
Everyone who knew Capt. Meadows considered him a friend. He was a devout Christian with a passion to serve the Lord. His friends described him as the kind of person everyone should strive to be, genuinely and effortlessly devoted to his country. Josh was described as "a man's man and marine's marine - no better friend. Whether he knew it or not, he was an example that those around him strived to emulate."
"Greater love hath no man than to lay down his life for his brothers." John 15:13. Meadows will always be remembered as a true hero who made the ultimate sacrifice fighting for what he believed in.
Services were held Tuesday, September 15, 2009, at 2:00 P.M. at the Midland Commemorative Air Force Museum, under the direction of Ross Funeral Home of Sterling City and Nalley-Pickle & Welch Funeral Home of Midland. Online condolences can be made at www.npwelch.com Also, please visit obits.nctimes.com to leave condolences for the North County Times in California.