Joshua Brent McDaniels
Lance Corporal, United States Marine Corps
Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 501-11
DOD Identifies Marine Casualty
The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Lance Corporal Joshua B. McDaniels, 21, of Dublin, Ohio, died June 12 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
For additional background information on this Marine, news media representatives
may contact the 2nd Marine Division public affairs office at 910-450-6575.
He was born in Columbus, Ohio, on April 14, 1990 a son of Donald Brent and Janice (Miller) McDaniels. He was a graduate of London High School, where he was captain of the football team and was 2nd team All County in his senior year. He was one second away from going to State Finals in wrestling in his senior year and loved to hang out with his friends.
He is survived by his parents of New Albany; wife, Adrianna (Powell) McDaniels; sisters, Racheal McDaniels of Columbus and Brittany McDaniels of New Albany; brothers, David Miller of Gahanna and Jacob McDaniels of New Albany; paternal grandparents, Cecil McDaniels of Grove City and Cheryl Elizabeth Ward of Groveport; maternal grandparents, Norman and Jewell Miller of Gahanna; maternal great-grandmother, Floradell Stutton of Columbus; aunts and uncles, Jamie and Becky Barker, Tim and Kathy Miller, Bryan Miller, Kerry McDaniels and Erik McDaniels; nieces and nephews, Shaun, Brooklyn, Gage, and Hailey Chambers; special hometown friend, D.J. Newman; and Marine Corps buddies, PFC Joe Spoores and CPL Kendall Brock.
A celebration of Josh's life will be held Sunday, June 19 at 1 p.m. in the London High School Gymnasium, with Pastor Tom Dove officiating. The doors will open for the public at 12Noon. There will be a balloon release ceremony following the service on the football field 50 yard line. Inurnment will be held at Arlington National Cemetery on July 19 at 9 a.m.
The mourners came 700 strong, filling the London High School gymnasium to celebrate the all-too-short life of Josh McDaniels.
As a man, he was adventurous, a bit of a prankster. He was the type who sought to excel at whatever he did, whether on the wrestling mat in the gym where his open casket rested or being a husband to his new bride.
As a Marine, he worked after hours, toiling to hone his abilities as a combat engineer. Detecting and detonating roadside bombs left by insurgents in Afghanistan is no task for those with false bravado or imagined skills.
Lance Cpl. McDaniels, 21, died a week ago yesterday when one of those devices detonated. His was a dangerous job and he knew it. He died doing his duty of giving other Marines safe passage.
Joshua McDaniels turned to the Bible for his father's present last Christmas. It was a dog tag, fittingly imprinted with a personalization of a verse from the book of Joshua, 1:9.
I will be strong and courageous. I will not be terrified or discouraged, for the Lord my God is with me wherever I go.
At his funeral yesterday, family and friends were encouraged to think of him standing eternal post in Heaven, for a Marine does not abandon his post until and unless relieved.
McDaniels was remembered as "one bad-ass Marine." A buddy of lower rank recalled how his friend would make him "sit at attention" in McDaniels' decrepit old Mercedes while he blasted TheStar-Spangled Banner on the sound system.
A slide show of photos set to music chronicled his life. A six-week-premature infant grew into a strong, seemingly indestructible Marine.
Uncle Jamie Barker called his nephew a "shining star" who still can be glimpsed if one looks at the night sky. Josh's widow, Adrianna, recalled his pride in being a Marine, one willing "to sacrifice to protect others."
His high school coaches recalled a captain of both the football and wrestling teams, a leader who preferred hard-to-match actions to hollow words.
Hundreds of mourners joined his parents, Janice and Brent McDaniels, of New Albany, and his widow in sending McDaniels out in Marine style.
They gathered at midfield at Bowlus Stadium, where No. 11 played as a tad-undersized defensive end known for leaving it all on the field. His football helmet on display in the high school lobby bore deep scrapes, testament to taking on challenges bigger than himself.
With a unified shout of "hoo-rah!" hundreds of helium balloons of scarlet and gold, the Marine colors, were released into a gray sky. The balloons bore handwritten note cards from those who loved and admired McDaniels.
The balloons floated high and floated north, destined to eventually descend, bringing their messages to earth. Some of the remembrances will be found by people who never knew McDaniels. But they will learn one thing.
Josh McDaniels was a good man and a good Marine.
McDaniels, a Marine and London High School graduate, died June 12 while on combat duty in Afghanistan. His remains were interred at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia on July 19.
Newman’s son, D.J., played football with McDaniels at London. The two young men were best friends and their families were close. The Newmans rode in the procession that transported McDaniels’ body from Rickenbacker Airport on the southeast side of Columbus to London on June 18 for local memorial services.
“The sights we saw (during the procession) will impact our family forever,” Newman said in a presentation to London Council on July 21. “People were out of their cars, saluting... It’s an experience that is hard to put into words.”
Newman described McDaniels as a “true hometown hero” who was “brave” and “inspiring.” She said she wants a special day to honor him each year because he is the only London serviceman in living memory to be buried at Arlington Cemetery.
“He didn’t just die. He died for his country. He died for us,” she said.
Council President Bill Beathard said council will discuss the possibility of designating a Lance Cpl. Joshua McDaniels Day at a council-of-the-whole meeting slated for 6 p.m. Aug. 10 in council chambers, 6 E. Second St. The meeting is open to the public. Council also will discuss implementation of storm water utility fees.
“We’re very excited about how it turned out. For the first year, it was excellent. It will only get bigger from here,” said Abby Sanders, one of the event’s organizers.
In the future, funds will go to the Josh McDaniels Memorial Scholarship Fund.
MCDANIELS, JOSHUA BRENT
Posted: 8 September 2011 Updated: 12 September 2011
Photo By Eileen Horan, September 2011