Algona Native Killed in Afghanistan

Posted at: 11/26/2012 12:51 PM

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- A north Iowa soldier has been killed while serving overseas.

The Department of Defense announced the death of Algona native Sgt. Joseph Richardson.  The 23-year-old was killed while on patrol in Afghanistan on November 16th. 

Officials say his unit was attacked by small arms fire and an IED. 

Another soldier, Sgt. Channing Hicks, 24 of South Carolina was also killed in the attack.  Both men were based out of Fort Riley, Kansas.

Richardson grew up in Algona, but moved to Kansas, graduating from Booneville high school.

His family released this statement:

"He was eager to come into this world and lived his life full of energy and with passion for everything he did. He loved his family and friends. Joe was always on the move and liked by everyone. There wasn't a time that you spent with Joe that he wasn't laughing or joking around. Everywhere you would go you would find someone that knew him or just loved how full of life he was.

He met his wife Ashley Marie and fell deeply in love. You could see the love between them…it showed in both of their eyes. Joe and Ashley had just celebrated their second wedding anniversary on November 5th. He had planned on coming home and starting his family with her. Joe had just re-enlisted for six more years in the Army. He loved his job; he loved fighting for his country and our freedom. 

Joe loved his brothers in arms and had said he wanted to go to Afghanistan. He wanted to make sure
that his brothers, his family, came home safe. Joe was always one to help, no matter what."

Richardson was honored with several awards posthumously, including the Bronze Star Medal and Purple Heart.

Funeral arrangements are pending.