SO1, U.S. NAVY SEAL JOSHUA T. HARRIS
Josh Harris, a United States Navy SEAL, lived his life to the fullest. He loved his family, he fought valiantly for his brothers on the battlefield, and he gave his life in service to his country.
Josh grew up on a farm in Davidson County, North Carolina, with his parents, his older brother Ranchor and his twin sister Kiki. From his earliest days, it was obvious that Josh would do something exceptional with his life. Throughout his childhood and adolescence, Josh always wanted to help others. He had a natural talent for art and excelled in athletics.
His athletic excellence earned him all-county and all-conference honors in his senior year at Lexington High School. From there, he was accepted to Davidson College to play football until an injury cut his career short. His passion for drawing brought about his decision to major in studio art and art history and then eventually to pursue a master’s degree in architecture at UNC-Charlotte. Josh was a true Renaissance Man. He studied art in Prague, France and New York City. He worked as a carpenter, a bookseller and volunteer for Special Olympics and Mighty Mutts. Eventually he achieved his ultimate goal― becoming a Navy SEAL.
Josh entered the Navy in 1999 and officially became a SEAL in October 2001. In April 2002, he was assigned to SEAL Team 4 and then to SEAL Team 10. He was deployed to Iraq twice and Afghanistan three times. He was then given the honor to join the Navy’s most elite counter-terrorism unit, the Naval Special Warfare Development Group/SEAL Team 6. In his short time as a SEAL, Josh went on over 100 missions. He believed strongly he was fighting for our freedom.
On August 31, 2008 Josh gave his life while leading a combat mission on the Afghanistan/Pakistan border. Over 1000 people attended his visitation and funeral in Lexington, North Carolina. His body was laid to rest in Section 60, Site 8393 in Arlington National Cemetery. His military honors include a purple heart, three bronze stars (two with valor), and numerous awards and campaign medals.
Josh was the type of guy with whom you would hope to have something in common, the type of guy you wanted to be your friend. Though he is missed dearly, his legacy lives on in the hearts and minds of all who knew him and through the many paintings, charcoals, watercolors, collages, and pen and inks that he left behind.