An Iowa native has been killed while serving in the U.S. Army in Afghanistan.
Twenty-three-year-old Sgt. Joseph A. Richardson was killed November 16th during an attack on his unit with an improvised explosive device and small arms fire during a patrol in the Paktika province.
Sgt. Richardson grew up in Algona, Iowa and attended school there through the 9th grade. He graduated from high school in Arkansas and joined the Army in 2008.
Sgt. Richardson had previously served in Iraq and just signed on for another six years with the Army.
He leaves behind his wife of two years, Ashley Richardson.
Funeral plans are still pending but the family did release a statement about his death:
“He was eager to come into this world and lived his life full of energy and with passion for everything he did. He loved his family and friends. Joe was always on the move and liked by everyone. There wasn’t a time that you spent with Joe that he wasn’t laughing or joking around. Everywhere you would go you would find someone that knew him or just loved how full of life he was.
“He met his wife Ashley Marie and fell deeply in love. You could see the love between them…it showed in both of their eyes. Joe and Ashley had just celebrated their second wedding anniversary on November 5th. He had planned on coming home and starting his family with her. Joe had just re-enlisted for six more years in the Army. He loved his job; he loved fighting for his country and our freedom.
“Joe loved his brothers in arms and had said he wanted to go to Afghanistan. He wanted to make sure that his brothers, his family, came home safe. Joe was always one to help, no matter what.”