Cpl. Joshua Snyder
(reprinted from WJZ.com, December 3, 2005)
Second Marine From Hereford Killed In Iraq
AP) MICHAEL J. FEENEY They were the best of friends through the stages of their young lives — classmates and football teammates at Hereford High School, and Marines, where they were roommates at boot camp.
They both went to Iraq, and died in combat six weeks apart.
Cpl. Joshua D. Snyder, 20, of Hampstead, died Wednesday of wounds sustained from small-arms fire while fighting enemy forces in Fallujah, the Department of Defense announced Thursday. Lance Cpl. Norman Anderson III, 21, of Parkton, died Oct. 19 after a suicide bomb exploded while he conducting combat operations against enemy forces in Karabilah, Iraq.
Both graduated from Hereford in 2002.
A red, white and blue wreath sat in front of the northern Baltimore County high school on Friday in Snyder’s memory.
“This can’t be happening again,” Steve Turnbaugh, their high school football coach, said Friday. Both were players on the 2001 State Championship football team and always wanted to go into the Marines, he said.
“I get close to these kids, especially when you coach them for four years,” Turnbaugh said, referring to his former players as heroes. “They’re like my own kids and there is no comfort in losing a child.”
He remembered Snyder for always trying to help out, even though he didn’t make the team his senior year. He assumed the role of a team coach and never missed a practice, said Turnbaugh.
His dedication to the team paid off and after players begged the coach, Snyder was granted playing time during the playoffs of their championship season, the coach said.
Snyder, not in uniform, sat front and center in their 2001 team picture, which still hangs in the weight room of the high school.
“I see their picture every day. I don’t even want to look up there anymore,” said Turnbaugh. “It’s just like having two
brothers killed. It’s unbelievable.”
Anderson’s football jersey was retired in a ceremony before a football game shortly after his death, he said. The school is planning to do something similar for Snyder.
For Our Troops, a student support group of soldiers in the war, held a meeting Friday to plan the school’s next memorial.
Snyder was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, based at Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Snyder was also a member of the Future Farmers of America club and the astronomy club.
Cheryl Burkett, a teacher and Snyder’s work study program adviser, remembers him for being a hard worker and very caring.
“He took care of everybody,” she said. “He was a solid gentleman.”
She said he worked with special needs children and took on the “big brother” role with one young boy when he was a senior.
“We’re a very tight-knit community,” said principal John V. Bereska. “Their deaths have a big impact on everyone at the
Snyder is survived by his younger brother, Brian, who is in the 10th grade at the high school and his mother, Doris, could not be reached for comment.