Former Redstone Soldier dies in Afghanistan

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Posted: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 8:09 am

Staff Sgt. Josh Bowden, a 2006 graduate of OMEMS which was then located at Redstone Arsenal, died Aug. 31 from injuries sustained when enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire while on patrol in Afghanistan. He was 28.

“Josh considered it not only his duty, but an honor to lay down his life for our freedom,” Yolanda Bowden, his mother, said.

Bowden, an Explosive Ordnance Disposal specialist, joined the Army in late 2005 and was on his second deployment to Afghanistan.

He was married to the former April Garrie of Huntsville and had one son, Kaden, 5. Bowden also had a younger sister, Duggar Shanda, who resides in Carrollton, Ga. His parents, Ray and Yolanda Bowden, live in Villa Rica, Ga.

“Before he left, I offered to break both of his legs so he wouldn’t have to go,” Yolanda said jokingly. “But he wouldn’t agree, he just told me to take care of April and Kaden for him.”

Bowden was assigned to the 242nd Ordnance Battalion (EOD), 71st Ordnance Group based at Fort Collins, Colo.

He was a 2003 graduate of Alexander High School in Villa Rica and was a two-sport athlete and captain of the soccer team.

Bowden and April met while he was stationed at Redstone. The Ordnance Munitions and Electronics Maintenance School subsequently moved to Fort Lee, Va., under the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure.

“They fell in love and the day they met she told me she would marry him,” Yolanda said. “They loved hanging at Waffle House on Airport Road with buddies and drinking coffee.”

Bowden will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

“This is the hardest task as Army wife but it is also a great honor,” April said. “I will cherish every day that we spent together.”

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