Although he was a fellow soldier, I knew Josh only in my civilian life. He was an agency nurse working frequent nights at St. Elizabeth's ER (Youngstown, Ohio) when we met in early-2007. I had just come off orientation as a new nurse and worked afternoons. Our shifts typically overlapped in the late evening, and often when I would stay to pick-up extra hours into the night.
Josh was an amazing RN. He seemed to have a way of dealing with the common ER stressors that few seemed to master: low supplies, heavy patient loads, mega traumas, and disastrous codes. He was liked by all who met him, was great at teaching, and would always lend a hand when asked. His humor was dry and he made jokes all through shift about just nearly everything. He never seemed to take anything too seriously; yet, he was extremely precise and methodical in his work. He had been in the Army previously and had served in Iraq. I told him I had been enlisted in my younger years, and we swapped Army stories. His stories were always way better than mine. I would later take my officer commission in September 2007, after asking him numerous questions about being an RN for the Army. I can't say that he either encouraged or discouraged me from joining, but he answered the questions I had truthfully.
On a personal level, Josh had a sweet little boy, Max, and he was always quick to show pictures of his little guy. My son, Owen, was just a bit older and we used to swap stories about the insanity of parenthood. He obviously loved his son very much, and was so proud of his little guy. He was single dad, and he worked hard to make life good for his son.
Many of my fellow nurses, especially those on night shift at St. Elizabeth's, worked with Josh for a considerably longer time and knew him much better than I. Still, I hope that I have done well in portraying a glimpse of the great man that was Josh. I wish that our paths would have crossed again.
Josh was killed by indirect fire at FOB Salerno in Afghanistan. He had volunteered for the active duty assignment with his Reseve Unit out of Cleveland. He was dedicated soldier, nurse, and father who will be greatly missed.
Thank you for your service and dedication, Captain McClimans. May you rest in peace.
|Captain Josh McClimans, 1980 - 2011.|