Fontana Honor Roll: Father honors the memory of Josh Showalter | News

(Note by Bill Freeman: In 2019-2020, I had the pleasure and honor of writing the Fontana Honor Roll columns for the Herald News. , Vietnam and the Global War on Terror.

Since then, eight other men have been identified as war dead or prisoners of war (POW). Now it is once again my honor to share these additional stories in the repeated sections of the Herald News. One of them, Army and POW Sergeant Steve Featherstone, was a close personal friend of mine who died a year ago.

The second is second-class Navy aviation electronics technician Josh Showalter, a graduate of Fontana High School and injured in the Global War on Terror. I talked at length about Josh with Josh’s father, Dave Showalter, a retired Fontana School Unified District teacher at Kaiser High School.

Below is the story of Josh as told by his father.)


Joshua Brent Showalter, known to me as “Bud”, died on August 10, 2004, in a collision of a Navy S3B Viking on the volcanic island of Kita Iwo Jima in the Sea of ​​Japan.

Born March 18, 1980, in Whittier, California, Josh was the third of five children (Erica, Matthew, Josh, Jared, and Darby) we would have.

Josh was always full of energy and curious about how everything worked. He would dismantle any bicycles or scooters we had ever brought home.

As he grew up, he enjoyed riding skateboards. He once put on his sister’s white belt, like a ninja. He landed with barrels on the sidewalk and crashed into a brick wall. Thus, the wound on his head that looked so obvious in his picture of the Navy.

Josh also liked to get up in front of everyone at home on the weekends. His adventures with breakfast cooking took on a whole new meaning when he set fire to kitchen cupboards trying to make Pop tarts. Never in a panic, he walked quietly down the hallway to our bedroom and announced in a quiet voice that the kitchen was on fire.

When he started playing sports, he was probably the hardest player I have ever coached, never the one who gave no less than everything he had. He liked to play football and baseball. I think football was his love and he tolerated baseball just to please me. His other love for the sport included dumbbell shooting with his grandfather John. He stayed in the sport even in his teens and was the junior champion of the state of California in 1997.

Josh also liked to go to the Lockheed Aircraft Factory where Grandpa John worked so he could see the planes. He always wanted to fly. He talked about entering service when he finished high school, but only if he was going to deal with airplanes.

During Josh’s final year of high school, I was shifting my career from accounting to teaching. I was home most of the time and it was nice to sit every morning and afternoon with him in our family room, just talking and playing on the computer. Those were some of my best moments with him.

He graduated from Fontana High School in 1998 with a silver certificate in engineering.

After a few months, he decided to enlist in the Navy, which offered him the opportunity to work in the field of aviation. He would finally have the opportunity to work with aircraft.

He attended the shoe camp in Great Lakes, IL., At the same place where his father Showalter went to the shoe camp in the early 1940s. Ricka (his mother) and I attended his graduation in February 1999. -ës. After that, he went to Pensacola, Florida for training in aviation electronics. You could see how happy he was.

Upon completion, he landed at North Island Naval Air Station in San Diego. His first squadron was the Shamrocks.

It was during this time that he met his future wife, Jennifer. He was growing into a strong young boy.

On October 28, 2000, Jennifer and Josh welcomed into the world a girl, Mikayla Marie Showalter. You could see how proud he was that he was a father. He took on a whole new responsibility of being a father. Every time he went out to sea, there was now something pulling him back. He missed his wife and daughter very much. I would email photos of our visits to San Diego and he was always so happy to get those photos.

Josh was eventually transferred to the VS35 Blue Wolves. He was stationed for nine months aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln at the start of the Iraq War.

It was a difficult time for Josh and not just because of his job. At home, many difficult times were spent with the family. His mother appeared with breast cancer and had to undergo surgery, and his grandfather John died two weeks later. This followed the death of the grandparents on the part of his wife and an aunt on the part of his mother. Marina sent him home early because of all the distractions.

Josh arrived home without warning on March 29, 2003. Josh and his wife had not told us he was on the road, to surprise us. I was at home when they arrived at our house without warning that afternoon. It was great to have him at home.

His mother was not home, so they hid their car on the street. When she got in the car, they hid in the bedroom. She walked in the door and I told her she was going to get the best birthday present ever. Yes, it was her birthday. Josh then came into the hallway, saying, “I’m home!” She screamed so loud that I’m sure it contributed to my hearing loss. It was a wonderful day at Showalter’s house.

When Josh reported to North Island, he was there when the Blue Wolves flew from the aircraft carrier to North Island to prepare to take President Bush to the USS Abraham Lincoln. He was a great navy man. He did not even tell his father what was going on. When I asked him about it when he finished, he just shrugged and said it was just part of his job. Only part of his job! Five years after graduating from high school and he is involved in the flight of the President of the United States in an aircraft carrier.

In June 2003, he called and asked me if I would like to go out to the USS John C Stennis for a day. I threw the case away and spent a wonderful day with my son. Meet Commander Skip Lussier, who had flown the plane to President Bush. I knew him from the news show. He was Josh’s commander.

Later that day, we went to Commander Lussier’s squadron headquarters. He took me to the back to watch Navy 1. I took some pictures of Josh, not realizing that they would be appreciated more than I had ever thought a little over a year later.

Over the next year, Josh enjoyed the time at home. Taking care of baby Mikayla during the day, they enjoyed the father / baby’s sleep a lot. He also enjoyed coming from San Diego and spending time with his sister, Erica, and brother, Jared. They went to lunch and a movie with Erica, or a Dropkick Murphys concert with Jared. Josh was the big brother at the maximum. The three musketeers were together again. On his last home visit, he went to Disneyland with his mother and Erica, after which we got a young puppy named Gus. He was leaving the deployment, this time aboard the USS John C Stennis. Jennifer was pregnant with their second child.

We were always worried about him going out, but I exchanged emails with him regularly and that helped me. He left in May and Jennifer had some problems with the pregnancy, but we hoped for the best. Josh was sent home in late June due to pregnancy. It was a difficult time for all of us. He told me that the new baby would become a boy, but the pregnancy problems were serious. We prayed for the best. When he returned to Stennis, Josh started texting me again. I tried to enjoy it with photos and support.

On August 10, he boarded a flight with Deputy Commander Scott Zellum, Lieutenant Patrick Myrick and Lieutenant James Pupplo. Josh’s last email to me was sent shortly before they left. He was optimistic and talked about the things we would do when he got home.

Josh did not return from that flight.

I know he’s with his brother Matthew, Ricky’s parents, Grandpa John, Grandma Dorothy and Grandma Jane, my parents (Grandpa Lyle and Grandma Betty) and all of our loved ones who have died. They are all helping Josh take care of his son, Jonathan, who followed his father home on September 30, 2004. They will take care of my “Buddy” until we all meet again.

In addition, Josh now has two new granddaughters, Camryn Jaynes and Natalie Jaynes, and a grandson, Oliver Joshua Showalter.

Josh touched a lot of lives and everyone misses him terribly.

For the Blue Wolves 704 crew, you are all our heroes. Your families are constantly in our prayers. God bless all those who helped our families during our time of loss.


(As always, Bill Freeman would love to hear from you if you have any new information about any of the Fontana Honor Roll celebrities or men we have been missing. billfreeman68@yahoo.com.

Furthermore, we invite you to attend the Fontana Honor Roll Travel Exhibition on Saturday, March 19 from 4 to 7 pm at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, located opposite Alder High School, at 7526 Alder Avenue in Fontana. More information will be provided in future Fontana Honor Roll columns.)

Fontana Honor Roll: Father honors the memory of Josh Showalter | News Source link Fontana Honor Roll: Father honors the memory of Josh Showalter | News

Related Articles

Back to top button