Army Spc. Joseph T. Caron
Died April 11, 2010 serving during Operation Enduring Freedom
21, of Tacoma, Wash.; assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.; died April 11 in Char Bagh, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his unit using an improvised explosive device.
(The following was taken from seattletimes.nwsource.com of Apr. 13, 2010) Joseph T. Caron was headstrong and driven, the kind of guy who knew what he wanted to do and did it. More than anything else, he wanted to be in the military. It was his career of choice.
He came from a family with a long history of military and law-enforcement duty; both his father and grandfather had served.
"He wanted to be just like his dad, just like his papa," said his uncle, Patrick Caron, a construction worker in Roy, Pierce County.
Spc. Caron, 21, formerly of Spanaway, died Sunday in Char Bagh, Afghanistan, when insurgents attacked his unit using a roadside bomb, according to the Department of Defense. Based at Fort Bragg, N.C., Spc. Caron was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.
Because the two were so close in age, Patrick, who is 24, knew Spc. Caron â€” or "Joey," as he was called â€” more as a brother than as his nephew. Along with Spc. Caron's younger brother Josh, "we were always getting in trouble together, getting spanked together, always doing stuff we weren't supposed to," he said.
Growing up, they were outdoors boys, he said, their minds often meandering toward thoughts of hunting, camping or paintball.
Spc. Caron enlisted in the Army shortly after graduating from Spanaway's Washington High, where he'd wrestled and played football. He rooted for the NFL's Denver Broncos and loved to fish.
"He didn't like to lose, didn't like to come in second," his uncle said.
Spc. Caron talked about going to college someday with Army assistance. Sometime down the road, he talked of maybe becoming a law-enforcement officer in small-town Montana.
During a leave last summer, Spc. Caron, along with his father and uncle, went fishing on the Columbia River and exhibited the competitive nature that for many defined his character.
"He had to outdo everybody, had to catch the biggest fish out of the three of us," Patrick Caron said.
At day's end, it was Jeffrey Caron, Spc. Caron's father, who was certain he'd landed the top prize. But sure enough, when the fish were put on the scale, "Joey had the biggest one out of 12 people on the boat. That put a big smile on his face."
On his Facebook page, Spc. Caron chronicled his grueling military experience, honoring fallen comrades and dropping tidbits of inspirational military lore. On Sunday, he said he'd forgotten what it was like to sleep. His last post was a snippet from a song by the Steve Miller Band.
"He was a good soldier," Patrick Caron said. "He knew the risks. He had accepted those risks. He just wanted to fight his way through it."
Spc. Caron is survived by his mother, Tani Hubbard, of Morton, Lewis County; and his father, brother and a sister, Cassie, all of Gresham, Ore.