A memorial service for the first American soldier to die in combat against the Islamic State group in Iraq will be held Tuesday in Sequoyah County.
The 10 a.m. service honoring Master Sgt. Joshua Wheeler will be held in the town of Muldrow, where Wheeler went to high school. It will be at Trinity United Methodist located on East Shawntel Smith Boulevard.
The 39-year-old was killed October 22 when he and dozens of U.S. special operations troops and Iraqi forces raided a compound near the city of Kirkuk, freeing approximately 70 Iraqi prisoners.
According to the military, Wheeler joined the U.S. Army in 1995, a year after graduating high school. He was deployed 14 times to Afghanistan and Iraq.
Wheeler earned many decorations, including four Bronze Star Medals with Valor Device, seven Bronze Star Medals, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal with Valor Device, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, seven Army Commendation Medals, the Joint Service Achievement Medal, eight Army Achievement Medals, the Good Conduct Medal (6th Award), the National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Service Star, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with 3 Bronze Service Stars, the Iraq Campaign Medal with 6 Bronze Service Stars, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Non-commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon (3rd Award), the Army Service Ribbon, the Presidential Unit.
U.S.Army Biographical Sketch of Master Sgt. Joshua Wheeler