Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Pfc. Joseph J. Anzack Jr.

From the Torrance DailyBreeze:
Military's search for Torrance soldier ends sadly for family
Pfc. Joseph Anzack Jr. is mourned at vigil in his father's home.

By Shelly Leachman
Staff Writer


More than 10 days into a massive search for three missing American soldiers that has held the attention of a hopeful nation, the Torrance family of Pfc. Joseph Anzack Jr., 20, learned the worst Wednesday.

Late in the afternoon, Army representatives notified the infantryman’s father, Joseph Anzack Sr., that his son was the dead soldier found earlier in the Euphrates River.

He had been “visually identified by the commander of his unit,” Anzack Sr. told the Daily Breeze. “The mourning started right then.

Speaking by phone Wednesday night, Anzack Sr. said his immediate family and several extended family members held a vigil inside his apartment — a second-story stucco building with a yellow ribbon on the front door — that was led by an Army chaplain.

“We said a prayer for the other two boys, then sat around and talked about Joseph,” he said, “just sharing the love of my son and why we all loved him.”

“I’m not really sure where I’m going to go from here,” Anzack Sr. told the Breeze. “I don’t know what I’m supposed to do tomorrow. But I have to keep living. I have to keep my family strong. “His sister, she can’t believe it. His mom, she’s doing OK,” he added. “We lost our son. It’s not fair.”

A former prep football standout who graduated from Torrance’s South High in 2005, Anzack Jr. was on his first tour of duty in Iraq, where he served as a gunner with the Army’s noted 10th Mountain Division. He and two fellow soldiers went missing after their patrol was ambushed south of Baghdad on May 12, leaving four soldiers and an Iraqi aide dead.

Al-Qaida later claimed credit for the attack and the abductions of Anzack Jr., Spc. Alex R. Jimenez, 25, of Lawrence, Mass., and Pvt. Byron W. Fouty, 19, of Waterford, Mich.

Their families and America watched as military forces launched an intensive, exhaustive search involving thousands of troops that spanned desert, farmland and irrigation ditches. News broke early Wednesday that a body in an American uniform had been pulled from the Euphrates River.

When word surfaced that the body bore a tattoo, the Anzacks continued to hold out hope, Anzack Sr. said. Last time he saw his son, he had no tattoos.

“I was really thinking, ‘That’s a different person,’” he said. “Somebody said that God takes you away from the bad stuff. And evidently he took Joe. He didn’t want him going through any more bad stuff.”

The tragic news came exactly one month after a false rumor of Anzack Jr.’s death circulated so widely, via MySpace and word-of-mouth, that his alma mater South High changed its marquee to read: “In Loving Memory - Joseph Anzack - 2005.”


But after American Red Cross workers located him alive and well, the soldier himself dispelled the rumor with a phone call home, relieving family and friends across Torrance.

After the rumor turned out to be just careless gossip, word of Anzack’s real disappearance in mid-May brought the toll of the war in Iraq home to students at South High, according to athletic director Robert Kutsch.

“It’s really opened up a lot of kids’ eyes,” Kutsch said. “It’s somebody who walked the same hallways as them and is gone.”

Denise Mandel’s son, Mike, a 12th-grader this year, played middle linebacker with Anzack two years ago and told the Daily Breeze in April he was a “great mentor.”

After hearing the news Wednesday, Denise said the family was heartbroken.

“This young man had nothing but class,” Mandel said. “He was a wonderful leader on the field, just as he was in life.”

Chris Lee graduated two years ahead of Anzack and the two played together on South High’s varsity football team. Anzack, who played on the defensive line, made the team as a 10th-grader. His enthusiasm made an impression on Lee right away.

“He was so excited to get out there, he forgot his assignment,” Lee said.

Anzack Sr. said his son approached his military duty in much the same fashion, describing Joseph Jr. as “a man who made his own choices, stuck by his choices and gave 100 percent.”

“I was honored to have him serve this country,” he said. “I know he went over there and made a difference.”

“I’m so grateful to have had the relationship that I had with my son. It was an honor to be his father.”

(Maya Alleruzzo / AP)
Prayers for his family and friends.

His myspace page

Labels: , ,

16 Comments:

Blogger Marie's Two Cents said...

That could have been one of my friends from High school or College' son's. Since I used to live in Torrance.

My thought's and prayers are with his family.

Thursday, May 24, 2007 12:30:00 AM  
Blogger Gayle said...

I can only imagine the grief his family must be feeling. It's bad enough losing a friend in a war, as Walt and I did during Vietnam. I can't understand the cut and run crowd because I know from personal experience that it makes the loss of a loved one worse and truly makes the friends and families of those lost angry, because it makes their efforts and sacrifices seem have been in vain.

May God rest this man's brave soul and help his family with their grief.

Thanks for posting this, Wordsmith.

Thursday, May 24, 2007 8:44:00 AM  
Blogger Little Miss Chatterbox said...

Wow!! I hadn't heard this yet. I've been so busy yesterday and today I hadn't seen that much of Fox News.

May God bless his family and friends and comfort them in their loss.

Great tribute post to him, Word.

Thursday, May 24, 2007 4:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mullah cimoc say now good time for ameriki remember who starting this war. who make ameriki for to kill the muslim.

answer: him neocon. him israeli spy operative.

for this so much the torture and the suffering. patriot ameriki needing for escape control of masters in tel aviv. be free amerika.

usa media so control now.

Thursday, May 24, 2007 4:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did not know PVt Anzack or his family but I watched the news when his father was interviewed and it touched my heart and I prayed for him to be safe and come home safe to his family. I'm not much on wars but I do support our troops and respect them with evey fiber of my being. But when is war just plain murder?? Was Pvt Joseph J. Anzack Jr. a casuality of war or was he just plain murdered? One of many murdered? Enough is enough, the US is not the UN - our country has it's own problems, it's own death and starving children. Why don't the USA help it's people first then worry about the rest of the world? I understand what our soldiers are fighting for in Iraq and it is not in vain! But it is time to come home and let those people figure things out for themselves. I am one of many of the working mothers in America busting our butts just to put gas in the car to drive to work to help my husband feed our family! Just one of many! There is much work to do right here in our own country! My deepest and heartfelt sympathy goes out to Pvt Anzack's family and friends and to all who have lost loved ones to this war. They are all heros and I am very proud of our troops! I am just not proud of our government, the crappy politics and so on. I don't slam my President or my country, never have never will no matter what I disagree or agree with. I just wish that "the powers that be" would realize that much work needs to be done right here at home in our own country and bring our troops on home.

A Kansas Citizen

Friday, May 25, 2007 4:59:00 AM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Hi Kansas Citizen,

Thank you for your thoughtful and heartfelt comments.

I can understand your frustrations. Much of the country is war-weary. Only the mad among us LIKES war. We would all like our troops to come home- probably none more so than the troops themselves who have been away from their families. But many of those same soldiers understand the war and the sacrifices that they are making; and it is on behalf of our country, first and foremost. And in the process, they get to help the Iraqi people. (Of course, I don't speak for all soldiers, and others will and do feel differently).

If this was solely about humanitarian causes, then yes, I would agree that we should be selfish and help those living in our own backyards first. You have to help yourself before you can help others, in many cases.

But Iraq is deeply tied in to our national interests and security. It might not have been the central front on the war on terror, but it has become that, now. If we leave a vacuum in Iraq, it will become a safe-haven for our enemies, including al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia. They would be conducting their operations from there. We would also be more or less directly responsible for the slaughter that would follow, since "we broke it, and didn't own it to fix it".

If we never went to Iraq, Saddam would and his brutal sons would still be in power, actively working to lift sanctions, to continue stealing billions from the UN Food for Oil scam, to continue harboring and supporting terrorists, to reconstitute weapons programs. From the Duelfer Report, Charles Kay's assessments, and the Iraq Survey Group, Saddam did pose a threat to us. Even without finding wmds.

If money weren't being invested toward the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, I don't agree that we would be spending more monetary resources here at home. As big as the costs are, they are still not that big a chunk of our overall GDP. I think we should be spending more on defense. Without security, all those other social programs will be for naught.

We spend more on education than we do on defense, as it is.

I think what has been sad, is that sacrifices have not been asked of us. So much of the country goes about its business, vaguely aware that there is a war going on and wants it to end as all they see are the explosions on tv and don't understand what the benefits might be to us in the end; and so only a very small percentage of our population is intimately engaged in the war, and in making strong, personal sacrifices. That's a mistake.

Also, just because we are fighting a war, doesn't mean we aren't dealing on multiple fronts, with social issues, here back at home. Living life is all about multi-tasking. And all of these things are tied together. Not separate.

What I beg of you and the country, is to exercise patience and resolve. Our enemies are hoping and counting on their ability to outlast our will to succeed and to sustain casualties and make the necessary sacrifices.

the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with thh blood of patriots and tyrants-Thomas Jefferson

Friday, May 25, 2007 9:26:00 AM  
Blogger J_G said...

I will say a prayer for the family of this young man and American soldier.

To those that think it is time to come home I say that you need to ask yourself if the people we are fighting, al qaeda, gain control of Iraq what use would it have been to go to Iraq at all? We must finish the job of creating a strong stable government that is able resist a takeover by radical islamic extremists or we will be back there no sooner than we leave. Think people, think, use your own mind to make those kinds of thoughts, don't let a mainstream media confuse you with their agenda and shallow thinking.

Friday, May 25, 2007 10:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God Bless You! We were praying for your safe return home to your loving family, but we now know that the angels took you home with them! You truly are a brave soul and one that will never be forgotten! If your laid to rest at Westwood where my Father and Brother are we'll come visit and say Thank You and that we love you! Your our local hero and we'll keep your family and your buddies still in Iraq in our hearts, thoughts and prayers! Watch over your buddies from heaven and please tell God to send them home safe and sound now!
Tina
Mar Vista, California

Friday, May 25, 2007 10:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we all love and support our troops regardless of our own individual thoughts about why we are in Iraq at all. I read the comments of those insisting "why we have to stay there and finish the job so they can have a stable democracy and government", what is lost in that translation is that most have forgotten it's all about religion and the different fractions of religions fighting against the other over there! They have been fighting over religion in the middle east forever and that isn't going to change!!! I love our troops and will support them every step of the way wherever they are, but I think it's time they come home!!! The price is too high when it means a loss like this, and there have been too many already! I just wonder what President Bush was thinking (or naat!), afterall he hasn't been able to control the gang problem in our own country which is out of control, so why does he think he could go into Iraq and control the battle over religions there? It breaks your heart to read this brave kids blog on myspace, when all he wanted to do was come home! My love, thoughts and prayers go out to his family, and to all the other brave soilders he left behind who need to come back to their families safe and sound now, as hard as it is to face we can't win a battle that's being fought over religious beliefs...

Friday, May 25, 2007 10:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

another one bites the dust.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007 1:59:00 AM  
Blogger Scott- Towson, MD said...

I pray that GOD will let Joseph
forever know how much we respect
him and thank him for his brave
service to our country.

Saturday, July 21, 2007 7:23:00 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

Well Joe Jr.. you have touched so many ppl.. You are missed so much & I have got to know your dad just a little threw emails since your passing. We have reached out to each other because you are part of the brother hood my husband loves so dearly..You are a 10th Mountain Soldier an you will for ever be a Polar Bear.. Pro Patria .. You are one of the many heroes the unit will have an forever be a part of it. I pray for your family all the time I also know they have a Soldier with Camo wings lookin out for them .
God Bless
Mary
Proud 10th Mountain Wife
2nd Brigade Combat Team
4th Battalion 31st Infantry

Wednesday, September 12, 2007 5:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When in gods name are you americans going to wake up to why you really went into iraq and stop spouting your war on terror nonsense and "helping the iraqis" speeches.You all seem to be blind to the real facts that saddam hussein hated al quaida.He had nothing to do with 911.He was just another secular muslim who wanted to live in luxury and dictate to his own people.This brave soldier died because of your greedy goverments policys of grabbing iraqi oil and the history of why you went there has now all been blurred with anti-terror propaganda.The day you think for yourselves and stop talking gungho nonsese will be the day you stop your presidents from sending young boys to be slaughtered.They didnt give a damn about this soldier and they never will.Its the money they care about.First you said it was because of 911.which saddam had nothing to do with...and then you said you were invading to liberate iraq?.Well you didnt liberate anyone.Iraqis hate you because you invaded their country and they always will, because in thier eyes westerners are infidels.They are hypocrites.The Shias and sunnis only stop fighting when offered money.Let them go there own way back to the stone age and then they will learn for themselves how to join the modern civilised world.Pull out your troops and face the truth americans..and when you do your brave boys wont come home in coffins.He didnt make a difference.He died in vain and that is the real tradgedy.

Sunday, December 30, 2007 11:08:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Breath-mint?

Monday, December 31, 2007 12:08:00 AM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

That was just beautiful! I think you almost hit every moonbat leftist drooling point under the dark sun. And in what should be an apolitical, non-partisan thread, to boot.

It earns the "moonbat comment of the year" award. Just in the nick of time, too.

Thanks for making my day!

Monday, December 31, 2007 12:09:00 AM  
Anonymous Kiersten said...

Interesting to know.

Monday, November 10, 2008 3:01:00 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home


Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

© Copyright, Sparks from the Anvil, All Rights Reserved