Photo Information

FALLUJAH, Iraq - Pfc. Joshua Klinger's photograph rests atop a stand inside Company B, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment's base of operations here June 16 during his memorial service. The 21-year-old North Hampton, Penn. native passed away June 14 when an improvised explosive device detonated near his position while patrolling Fallujah's streets.

Photo by Cpl Mike Escobar

Bravo 1/6 commemorates fallen friend

16 Jun 2005 | Cpl. Mike Escobar

Underneath the heat of the noonday sun, as traffic rushed through the city streets and citizens noisily manned curbside market stands, one spot in town remained silent, peaceful and untouched by the hectic world outside. There, a group of solemn Marines and sailors gathered inside their base of operations, an abandoned housing complex they had known as home for the past three months. On that torrid June 16 afternoon, personnel from Company B, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment celebrated the life of their fallen brother-in-arms, Pfc. Joshua Klinger. The 21-year-old North Hampton, Penn., native was killed in action June 14 while patrolling the city streets alongside Iraqi soldiers. During the early morning hours that day, an improvised explosive device detonated near his patrol, killing Klinger and injuring a fellow Marine. During the service for Klinger, a squad automatic weapon gunner with 4th Platoon, Company B, who had joined his present command Oct. 2004, his friends and commanders spoke words of encouragement to the gathered and recalled fond memories of the young Marine. Chaplain Richard Ryan commenced the memorial with an opening prayer. Afterward, unit commanders spoke of the Klinger’s service with his fellow warriors. “Pfc. Klinger was a good Marine,” stated Capt. Robert Hancock, Klinger’s company commander. “Since he joined Bravo Company in October (2004), he did everything we asked of him with no complaint. We made him an automatic rifleman, the second most senior position in a fire team. His professionalism made him an asset to his unit.” “Pfc. Klinger was also a very intense and determined Marine who knew his job well, and would always give it his all, cutting no corners and seeing every mission through to end,” added 1st Lt. Adam Sacchetti, Klinger’s platoon commander. “He had a big heart and a great sense of humor, making light of many bad situations.” Fellow teammates also remembered Klinger for the levity he brought to the dangerous missions they performed every day. Although he risked his life constantly, Klinger put forth a positive attitude and a touch of unique wit. “For most of this deployment, Josh’s fire team consisted of Marines at the end of their first enlistment,” said Cpl. Adam Meier, Klinger’s squad leader. “Being as new to the Marine Corps as he was, they generally viewed him as the troublesome little brother. But Josh had a quality that a lot of Marines lose early on in their careers, and some never have at all: the eagerness to learn and to prove himself. He had a great attitude, and he took everything in stride.” “He was a quiet, peaceful warrior,” reflected Gunnery Sgt. Joseph Poe, Klinger’s platoon sergeant. “He never said too much to anyone, but when he did, it was usually some off-the-wall comment that made his buddies laugh. I can’t recall a time when I heard him say a negative comment about anything. He had a very positive attitude about himself that spread to his fellow warriors.” While with his fellow Marines and loved ones back in the United States, the story was no different. “He was big into family,” explained Lance Cpl. Benjamin Pellum, a fellow infantryman who had known Klinger since recruit training. “I remember often going into his room, and he’d be on the phone with his family.” Bravo’s infantrymen also remembered their friend for his quirks and eclectic love of loud music. “You would walk into his room and he’d be lying on his bed, listening to all types of music with these big headphones. You could hear it from, like, 15 feet away from you,” Pellum continued. “He loved the guitar, and he was really good at it. He had his own style of playing.” First Sergeant John Elliott, Company B’s first sergeant, assumed the podium after Klinger’s friends had spoken to call role. Elliott shouted out each name in Klinger’s squad, ending with that of the fallen Marine. “Private First Class Klinger, Private First Class Klinger, Private First Class Joshua P. Klinger.” The bugle melody of ‘Taps’ then played, during which the troops saluted to render their respects to their friend. The assembled guests proceeded to file out into the front of the courtyard, where Klinger’s ballistic vest, helmet, boots, weapon and photo lay displayed. They paused for a moment in front of the gear stand, some to tap his helmet, others to stop for a moment of prayer and reflection, all to say goodbye to the young infantryman. Klinger is survived by his mother, Sharon and his father Phillip.