Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

Remembering the soldiers who died in the service of their country.

Army Capt. Joshua T. Byers

29, of Nevada.
Byers was killed in action when his convoy hit an explosive device east of Baghdad, Iraq. Byers was assigned to Fox Troop, 2nd Squadron, 3rd Armored Calvary Regiment, in Fort Carson, Colorado. Died on July 23, 2003.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army Capt. Joshua T. Byers to mailto:profiles@fallenheroesmemorial.com?Subject=Army Capt. Joshua T. Byers.


Leave a message in memory of this soldier, and/or to the loved ones left behind.

"My husband and I had the privilege of mentoring Josh during our three years as instructors at West Point. He always made the room light up when he entered, and he could always make us laugh. He was an inspiration to us because of his dedication to Jesus Christ. Because he put his faith in Christ, we know he's now in heaven with Him, and we look forward to seeing him again one day.
Thank you Josh, for your service to God and our country, and for making the world a brighter place. We love you, and we miss you so very much."
Brent and Morgan Cornstubble of Leavenworth, Kansas

"Dear Friends,

I picked up an old Army Times today (7 AUG 2003) and was saddened to learn of the death of a fellow West Pointer, soldier, officer, and commander. I hoped that I would never see the day when I would recognize the name of a friend or acquaintance on a "list."

I am a member of the Class of 1995. Josh was a member of the Class of 1996 in my recollection. That was a while back and a lot has happened since; however, I remember that Josh Byers was as "straight as a string." His personal appearance was impeccable, his demeanor pleasant, and he was fun to be around. I recall we had many conversations together and we had some common ground. As I recall, he was a Southerner. He was among a group of "yearlings" when I knew him that included other friends like Rick Hinshaw and John Kiriazis (sorry about the sp Crazy), etc. We had a lot of fun together in activities such as roasting the new plebes and participating in other activities that are unique to the USMA experience. Josh and I sat at the same table at one point in time. One day he took an empty milk carton and crushed it by hitting it with his fist. The resulting "pop" echoed throught the 4000+ capacity mess hall. Tens, if not hundreds, craned their necks to see who the culprit was. Josh and I turned this into a science. We did it so much and so often that it aroused the ire of many and we were forced to abandon the project after a few weeks. I know it sounds ridiculous, but what else is there to do when not engaged in academics at West Point? We had fun with it.

When I was a commander at Ft. Knox, one of my soldiers died while on leave on December 25, 2002. Three months later on March 10, 2003, my first sergeant, Rafael Coppin, died from complications related to a recent surgery. Life and many other things were put into perspective for me. I won't bore you with my own dilemmas and fears, but I wondered about what really happens when......well, you know what I am talking about.

When I saw Josh's picture this morning I remembered something that is VERY interesting and this is the "God's honest truth." After looking at his picture and seeing the date on which he died, I recalled thinking about Josh and the milk cartons about a week before, which would have been sometime in the latter part of July. Since I left West Point in 1995, I probably have not thought conciously about Josh Byers along with other friends and people who I knew there. Nothing bad you know but, "out of sight, out of mind." I don't know what brought him to mind a week ago. I hope Josh came back to tell me something......."
Captain Stephen J. Kent of Hattiesburg, MS USA

"I had the awesome privilege of being a father-in-law to Joshua Byers! He was a great soldier and husband to our daughter Kim (Redfearn) Byers. Josh is the kind of guy that you admire, love, and miss very much when he is gone. Josh was a true servant of Jesus Christ and of his fellow man. He loved God with all his heart and he loved Kim, and the rest of his family. Time nor space permits me to tell of the blessings that Josh brought into our lives. We will miss his smiling face, his intense love of country, and his complete devotion to Kim. Josh --- we miss you very much! Thanks for loving Kim and us!"
Jack & Lisa Redfearn of Hartselle, Alabama

"Josh Byers.
I had the privilege of meeting Josh Byers while we both attending West Point together as cadets. He loved the Lord Jesus Christ, and he loved his family and friends. He was an inspiration to me, and to those who knew him. One special characteristic that I remember about Josh is that he always knew where he was and where he was going.

I recall when we were in cadet field training, an officer questioned Josh while he was leading a patrol of fellow cadets. The officer asked Josh “Are you lost cadet?” and he replied “No sir – I’ve got my pace count and azimuth.”

While navigating by foot, pace count and azimuth are two critical measurements. Pace count is the measure of your footsteps – it tells you have far you have come, and how far you have to go.

Azimuth refers to a compass direction. Without the right direction, you have no way of knowing which way to go.

In his relationship with God, Josh kept his pace count and azimuth straight. Josh measured his footsteps by the Word of God, and he kept his eyes fixed on Jesus Christ for his direction. I witnessed Josh’s marvelous faith in his life as a cadet, as a soldier, and as a family man.

I met Josh Byers in September 1992 and he instantly became my best friend at West Point. I was drawn to him because of his love for Jesus Christ. I spent much time with Josh, studying academics, lifting weights, exercising, studying the Bible, and praying. Josh continually prayed for me, encouraged me, and challenged me. Josh subordinated his goals to serve others. He volunteered his time to special Olympics and community events at West Point. He also served as a lay leader in the Baptist Church. In his cadet ring, Josh had an inscription that reads “To Lead is to Serve.” He followed Jesus Christ’s example of servant leadership, and he sought to glorify God in all of his efforts. Josh was known for his upright character; his classmates selected him to serve as the Executive Officer of the Cadet Honor committee, a very high distinction at West Point. Serving as a leader of the honor code was natural for him, because the fruit of the Holy Spirit was so evident in his life. Our last week together at West Point, Josh & I attended a promise keepers conference in Washington, DC. At that conference Josh shared his faith and led a man to Christ. In our West Point yearbook, under Josh’s picture there is a reference to the Scripture, Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

As a soldier, Josh was head and shoulders above his peers. He loved his soldiers, and cared for them deeply. He sought every opportunity to make himself the best possible leader for his men. Josh was an Airborne Ranger, and he embodied the Ranger Creed in his actions. Part of the Ranger Creed says “Never shall I fail my comrades. I will always keep myself mentally alert, physically strong, and morally straight and I will shoulder more than my share of the task whatever it may be, 100% and then some.” Indeed Josh was strong for his fellow soldiers. There are several accounts from soldiers in the 3rd ACR that Josh Byers saved their lives. In his correspondence, Josh often quoted Philippians 4:13 – “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Josh wrote to me in a letter
“I have grown so much closer to the Lord through this experience than I could have ever imagined before actually being in the combat zone. God’s presence is so real, His protection so complete. I rely on Him completely everyday and just do my best to perform every task to the best of the ability that He has given me. I also pray for daily wisdom and strength as I lead these incredible soldiers through these times. I have to be strong for them, no matter what – my relationship with Christ is what allows me to do that, day in and day out.”
Josh led by example and set a high standard for others to follow. He risked his life multiple times to protect the lives of his fellow soldiers and the lives of Iraqi civilians.

Family man.
Josh’s faith was also illustrated in his family relationships. He frequently mentioned his parents and brothers to me at West Point, and asked me to pray for them often. I will never forget December 19th, 1998, when Josh married his very best friend, Kim. It was a beautiful day, to witness the wedding to two such wonderful people. Every time I heard from Josh after his wedding, he made mention of Kim and what a blessing she was to him. In a letter I received from him this past March, he wrote “Thank you so much for your thoughts, prayers, and concerns for Kim as well. I think she has it harder than me in so many ways. At least I know what’s going on here and can do everything in my power to control the danger and understand the risks. She has to sit at home and just wonder – not knowing exactly what I’m doing or when I’m doing it. I pray for her constantly and thank God that he has blessed me with such a wonderful wife. She is not only my wife, but my best friend – I am truly blessed.”

Remember his example.
Throughout his life, Josh Byers kept his pace count and azimuth. He always measured his steps by the Word of God, and he kept his direction by fixing his eyes on Jesus Christ. Because Josh trusted in Jesus Christ for his salvation, we are confident that he is now in God’s presence in heaven. I do not know why God chose to take Josh so soon; I will miss him every day for the rest of my life.
I look forward to the day when we will be reunited together in heaven through the saving grace of Jesus. Until that day, I will seek to remember Josh and honor his memory by living as he lived – measuring my footsteps by the Word of God, and keeping my eyes fixed on Jesus Christ, our great hope and salvation."
Abe Usher of Centreville, Virginia

"I never met Josh but his father-in-law is my pastor and I have heard many wonderful things about this man. I pray for Kim, Capt. Byers' family and my pastor and his family. Thank you Josh."
Jake Jackson of Cullman, Al.

"Although I do not know Josh ( I know Jared & Milam )...I know that he was a true hero and that he will be greatly missed. To his wife and family-you are in my prayers. And also to his parents-you all did a wonderful job raising your sons! Not only bringing them up in faith but with so much love. I am so sorry for your loss!"
Tara Breeding of Wincheser,KY

"We would like to donate a canvas portrait to the family (first next of kin) of Capt Joshua T Byers. Our portraits have been well recieved. I have been donating these portraits to Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom because they last forever and no-one will be forgotten. You can see what our donation portraits look like at http://lionheartcreations.net/honorfallen.htm An american flag in the background, Eagle, and I have wrote a poem called Fallen and we put this on the canvas portrait along with name rank and branch of service. We will ship the portrait right to your home. This cost you nothing. This is our way to serve and honor our fallen. Please let us serve you. You can email us to make arrangements for your portrait and this can all be done over the internet or US mail. Making the portraits only takes a day or so. Please see that the family gets this message. Our email address is on our website or you can email carlosshelter@aol.com Thank you and God bless"
Carlos Kathy & Ashley Jones of Middletown Ohio

"To the family and friends of Capt. Joshua Byers:
May God's grace be with you during your time of grief. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and we feel your loss and share in your sorrow. Bless Joshua for the sacrifice he has made to make a better life for the rest of us."
The Ford Family of Wells, Nevada

"To the family and friends of Capt. Joshua Byers:
I am saddened by the loss of your loved one. He will always be remembered as a hero for fighting for freedom. I hope that this website will be a source of comfort and encouragement for you during this difficult time, and in the future as you recall the memories of Joshua, who continues to live on in your heart."
Tim Rivera of Powder Springs, Georgia

Honor them by remembering... Freedom - is their gift to us But his soul goes marching on