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1st Lieutenant Joshua Booth Memorial

November 21, 2006 Update

The final meeting for volunteers will be held on Monday, November 27th at 7 p.m. at the American Legion Hall on Main Street.  Anyone wishing to help at the memorial service is welcome to attend!

November 17, 2006 Update

PRESS RELEASE: IMMEDIATE                                




STURBRIDGE—A few volunteer opportunities remain as Sturbridge Veterans Agent Thomas A. Chamberland organizes a memorial service for Marine 1st Lt. Joshua L. Booth, whose death in Iraq marked this community’s first combat fatality since World War II.  The memorial service is set for 2 P.M. Saturday, December 2, at the Tantasqua Regional District High School Field House.
Mr. Chamberland announced that volunteers may take part in the hosting of the Booth family and dignitaries, in greeting the visiting public and in handling the physical arrangements.  Volunteers are invited to meet at 7 P.M. Monday, November 27, at the American Legion Post 109 Hall, 507 Main Street.

Meanwhile, eight collection boxes have been placed for nonperishable supplies that townspeople may donate for delivery to the 3rd Platoon, Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, which Lt. Booth led.  The boxes are located at the Town Hall, Senior Center, Joshua Hyde Public Library, Tri-Community Area Chamber of Commerce office, ReMax Professional Real Estate Office at 49 Main Street, Sturbridge Curves at The Boardwalk, American Legion Post 109 and the Old Sturbridge Village Visitors Center.

Memorial donations to cover the shipping costs for the supplies are welcomed, Mr. Chamberland said.  He added that any remaining funds will be deposited as a trust for the children of Lt. Booth and his wife, Erica.  Checks should be made payable to the “Town of Sturbridge, Booth Memorial Fund.”

Among the dignitaries who have confirmed their participation in the memorial service are the Chairman of the Board of Selectmen, Arnold P. Wilson; Town Clerk, Lorraine Murawski; Congressman Richard E. Neal; State Senator Stephen M. Brewer; and Michael Welch, the Headmaster of St. John’s Preparatory School, from which Lt. Booth graduated.  

Participating in the program are the Quaboag Highlanders Pipe and Drum Unit, Marine Corps League of Massachusetts, Sturbridge Patriot Fife and Drum Unit, Massachusetts State Police Honor Guard, Tantasqua Choraleers and St. John’s Chorus.

Fatally shot by a sniper in Haditha, Lt. Booth, age 23, was schooled in Sturbridge.  He was the son of John E. and Debra L. Booth, of Sturbridge.                                       

November 2, 2006 Update

The Town of Sturbridge has announced plans to hold a memorial service for 1st Lt Joshua L. Booth USMC on Saturday, December 2nd, 2:00 p.m. at the Tantasqua Regional High School Field House.  Lt Booth was killed in Iraq on October 17th, by a snipers bullet while on patrol.  Raised in Sturbridge, he graduated from St Johns High School and received his College degree from the Citadel.  Lt Booth is the first Sturbridge resident to die in battle, since World War II.  Lt. Booth leaves behind his wife, Erica, who is seven months pregnant, his daughter Grace, and unborn son, Tristan, his sister Melissa L. De Vera, his parents Debra and Jack, and a grateful community, proud and respectful of his sacrifice for our country.

Tom Chamberland, Director of Veteran Services, is in charge of the event. In making the announcement Mr. Chamberland said “We are proud and honored that the family is encouraging the community to come together to celebrate the life of Joshua.  The family is very grateful that there will be this opportunity for them to tell Joshua’s story.  We are anticipating a very large turnout for this memorial event. The Town is accepting donations to help make this memorial service a respectful, proud, and memorable event.”

Anyone wishing to help contribute to this service is asked to contact either Tom Chamberland at  or 508-347-3386, or Town Clerk Lorraine Murawski at or 508-347-2510.  Contributions for printing, flowers, refreshments, as well as volunteers to assist with the memorial service are needed.  A volunteer meeting is set for Wednesday, Nov 8th 7:00 p.m. at the American Legion Hall, 507 Main Street. Sturbridge.  

The Town is also collecting items to be sent to the Marines of Lt Booth’s unit still in Iraq. Collection boxes are set up at the Town Hall, Senior Center, Library, Tri-Community Chamber of Commerce, ReMax Professional Real Estate Office at 49 Main Street Sturbridge, Arland Tool & Die Manufacturing, the Sturbridge Curves and American Legion Post 109. Items may also be brought to the memorial service.  A list of needed items is available at each collection site or online at: 

The Town of Sturbridge has set up a Memorial Fund in Lt. Booth’s name.  Contributions to this fund will be used to cover the cost of the memorial service and the cost of shipping the collected items to Iraq.  Any remaining contributions will be turned over to the trust that is being set up for Joshua’s children. Checks should be made payable to the Town of Sturbridge and mailed or dropped off to the Town Hall, 308 Main Street Sturbridge MA 01566. Please note Booth Memorial Fund on your check.

October 25, 2006 Update

The Town of Sturbridge has established a drop-off for care packages for military personnel in Iraq as a response to the recent news that a Sturbridge resident, 1st Lieutenant Joshua Booth was killed in action on 10-17-06.  For more information on the items that can be donated, please see below.  Items may be dropped off at the Sturbridge Town Hall, 308 Main Street in Sturbridge.  If your office or business wishes to be a drop off site, please contact Tom Chamberland, Veteran's Agent at

A memorial service is in the planning stages for 1st Lieutenant Joshua Booth the date will be announced once final arrangements have been made.

For more information, please contact Tom Chamberland, Sturbridge Veteran's Agent at or Lorraine Murawski, Town Clerk at

Items specifically requested (from the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, Echo Company):

·       “Rite in the Rain” waterproof tablets (
·       Batteries for High Powered Flashlights – 123A Lithium (
·       Food, Food, Food! (Suggested Items Below)
·       Cigarettes and Tobacco (Copenhagen)
·       Letters (general letters to any soldier – there are several that have never received even one letter)

The following is a list adapted from one this is available on  It has been modified to suit an outlying FOB (Forward Operating Base) with limited supplies or equipment.

Food Items:
Non-Perishable Foods Only:

·       Plastic jars of peanut butter or Fluff
·       Tuna Salad (look for Bumblebee’s already mixed tuna salad kits)
·       Dried fruits & canned fruit (with flip-top)
·       Coffee, hot cocoa mix, coffee mixes, NO TEA
·       Lemonade mix, koolaid mix, Tang mix, Gatorade mix (pre-sweetened)
·       Gum, Lifesavers, mints
·       Nuts, sunflower seeds, peanuts, trail mix
·       Power Bars, protein bars, nutritional bars
·       Beef jerky, beef summer sausage (non-perishable, labeled USDA beef), Vienna sausages (BBQ flavored)
·       Small bags of snacks or individually wrapped snacks
·       Pop Tarts, cereal bars, “milk & cereal” bars, granola bars
·       Cookies, Homemade Cookies (only recipes that will withstand 2-3 weeks of varying temperatures)
·       Candy and candy bars
·       Torengos and canned nacho cheese dip
·       Jalepeno velveeta and crackers
·       Any other canned food items (with flip tops)


·       Baby wipes for personal hygiene
·       Toothpaste, toothbrushes
·       Shampoo
·       Deodorant
·       Soap, anti-bacterial soap
·       Waterless soap, liquid body wash
·       Hand sanitizer (Note: hand sanitizer may not be allowed by some post offices per the alcohol content)
·       Lotion
·       Shaving cream
·       Disposable razors, electric razors, battery operated razors
·       Toilet paper
·       Kleenex (Travel size packets)
(Plastic-wrapped package of ten tissues: they stay dry, make great packing material and they can use it for TP, which is in short supply in many areas!)

Personal-Care Items:

·       Sunblock, Aloe Vera
·       Throat Lozenges
·       Gum, Lifesavers, Mints
·       Eye Drops (to relieve irritation from blowing sand)
·       Blistex, Chapstick, Vaseline, Carmex
·       Aspirin, Motrin, Tylenol, Pain Relievers
·       Saline spray/drops for sensitive nasal passages
·       Q-tips
·       Boot liners/insoles
·       Lotrimin AF for athletes foot
(send tube of ointment or cream, not the spray kind)
·       Foot powder (there are some that have ingredients to fight athletes foot), travel size baby powder, Shower to Shower powder (NOTE: Be sure any powder is in its sealed, original container.  Put it in a ziplock bag as well)
·       Moleskin (for pads on sore feet, you’ll find it with Dr. Scholls type things at WalMart or drug stores)

Communication Items:

·       “Rite as Rain” waterproof writing tablets (
·       Envelopes, paper, pens
·       Small pads of paper
·       Pre-addressed labels and/or envelopes
·       Notebooks (a size they can keep in a pocket and keep dry)
·       Single-use cameras

Other supplies:

·       Batteries (AA, AAA, C)
·       Batteries for high powered flashlights (
·       Cigarettes, chew (Copenhagen)
·       Newspaper clippings, comics from Sunday’s papers, news from home
·       Books, magazines
·       Sunglasses (goggle type sunglasses are requested very frequently)
·       Eyeglass wipes
·       Socks, socks, socks!
·       Underwear, socks, T-Shirts
·       Green boot socks (try military surplus stores)
·       Tactical duct tape: military green, tan, black or gray
·       Electrical tape
·       Flashlight with red lens
·       1 and 2 gallon ziplock plastic bags (put all itmes form care packages in a ziplock bag – serves  2 purposes!)

Fun Stuff:

·       Frisbee, Nerf Footballs, Hacky Sack
·       Deck of Cards
·       Hand-held games

Town of Sturbridge 308 Main Street, Sturbridge MA 01566
Phone: (508) 347-2500    Fax: (508) 347-5886
The Town of Sturbridge is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
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