A Marine officer who was due home in Carlsbad later this month for the birth of his first child is being remembered for his professionalism and sense of humor after dying Saturday in Afghanistan.
The Camp Pendleton Special Operations Marine was nearing the end of his first Special Operations deployment and was planning to be with his wife, Angela, by month's end for the birth of the couple's first child, his company commander, Major Brian Von Herbulis, told the North County Times.
Meadows was the sixth Special Operations Battalion Marine to die in combat since the elite fighting unit was formed in 2006 and began its work in Afghanistan in 2007, according to Special Operations spokesman Major Michael Armistead.
The Marine captain loved baseball and followed in his father's footsteps when he decided to embark on a military career, reported the Elgin Courier.
Neighbor Linda Kramer, who lives across the street from the Meadows, knew Capt. Meadows for five years. "'I've known him not only as a fine young man, but one that just had this goal of serving his country, and probably one of the most dedicated and committted young men I've ever seen," she said. "He was excited to serve his country."
When asked about what kind of dad Meadows would have been, she said, ""Oh my! He was amazing. He played with all these kids in the neighborhood, and my little grandson, he actually tumbled in this yard here in front of me many times, teaching him how to tumble."
In his honor, neighbors have placed flags and yellow ribbons at each residence on the Meadows' street. It's a way of supporting Angela, and of showing their gratitude for a man they say was so humble.
"He was kind, loving, strong, courageous, just a fine man that I think many men would like to be like and some won't be able to emulate him," Kramer said. "That's just the kind of man he was."
The family's friends hope Meadows child will always know what a hero Josh was --- to his country and to his neighbors -- a man who inspired, and was admired by all.
"He's had such a tremendous, positive influence on everyone," said Kramer. "A lot of people say that when people have passed. It's true for Josh."
"He would have been an awesome dad."