THOMASTON, Maine — The Maine soldier killed last week in an attack in Afghanistan was remembered this week in midcoast Maine as a hard worker and a “really nice guy.”
U.S. Army Sgt. Joshua Kirk, 30, who was born in Thomaston, was among eight soldiers killed Saturday in a fierce firefight at a remote outpost in Afghanistan, according to The Associated Press.
Though Kirk moved to Idaho with his family when he was 5 years old, he returned to the area in 2002. He worked in the carpentry business with his father, Rockland native John Kirk, who died on Christmas 2007.
Kristan Gould of South Thomaston taught Kirk in 2004, when he was earning his GED from the Five Town Community School District Adult Education Program in Camden.
“He was one of the few that took it pretty seriously. He knew what he wanted to do afterwards,” she remembered Wednesday. “He was a very friendly, outgoing guy. He was an older student and came to class ready to do what he needed to do.
“He was working as a carpenter at that time and talked about how he wanted to “do things correctly,” she said.
Kirk joined the Army in 2005 and was on his second tour in Afghanistan when he was killed, according to the AP. He was assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division out of Fort Carson, Colo.
Gov. John Baldacci said in a statement Wednesday that he would order flags to be flown at half-staff on the day of the midcoast native’s funeral. Information about when that would be was not available Wednesday.
“Our prayers go out to Sgt. Kirk’s family,” Baldacci said. “His death is a terrible tragedy, and we will honor his memory and his sacrifice.”
Kirk’s mother, Bernadette Kirk Bonner of Bonners Ferry, Idaho, and originally of Thomaston, his widow Megan and their 3-year-old daughter went Tuesday morning to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to watch as his flag-draped transfer case was removed from a military plane, according to a relative who spoke with the Portland Press Herald.
He will be buried in New Hampshire, where Megan was originally from. There also will be a memorial service at Fort Carson, Colo., where he was stationed, according to the relative.
A staff member of the Camden Adult Education Program said Wednesday that Kirk was the second in his class to be killed in the overseas wars. Army Spc. Joshua Humble of Appleton was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq in March 2006.