SANDY — A Utah family is remembering their son, a U.S. Marine, who died Saturday in a motorcycle crash in Palm Springs, Calif.
The parents of 21-year-old Joshua Vielstich described him as an energetic adventure seeker, but most of all — a Marine.
"He's been active in the Marine Corps for about three and a half years," said Craig Vielstich, Josh's father.
Vielstich's first tour of duty was to Afghanistan where he served for nine months in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. His father recalled a haunting phone call his wife Annette answered while their son was stationed in the Middle East.
"She had hung up after about five seconds, and I said, ‘Why didn't you talk longer?'" Craig Vielstich recalled. "And she said, ‘Well, he said he had to go, and I heard tat, tat, tat.' And I don't think she realized at that moment they had come under attack."
Josh Vielstich returned to his home base in Palm Springs last July. His life came to a tragic end on Aug. 18.
"It was a heartbreaking moment to see (the Marine officers) standing there, because deep down I knew what they were here to tell us," said Annette Vielstich.
The men in uniform told the couple that their son had died in a motorcycle crash off base.
"He swerved and hit a car, and that was about it," Craig Vielstich said.
Josh Vielstich died instantly, but the memories of him as both an Alta High School graduate and a Marine corporal will not be forgotten by those people who knew him best.
"He was our boy, a big part of our family," his father said. "We're going to miss him so much."
The family said Josh had planned to go back to school next year and become a helicopter pilot. Funeral services are pending.
- Former Provo High teacher pleads guilty to...
- Desire to serve: Even a gunshot couldn't keep...
- 1 dead in Uintah County after track hoe...
- Utah farmer turns alfalfa field into the...
- Farmington woman tumbles 150 feet in hiking...
- Pig-shaped hot air balloon crashes in Provo
- Lagoon's Cannibal ride makes late but...
- Elderly man hit, killed while changing tire
- Delta man staged hate crimes in a 'cry... 96
- LDS Church donates to Utah Pride... 60
- My view: Move the prison for the sake... 40
- Support for law requiring sales tax for... 28
- Neil Flinders: Keeping track of school... 21
- Former Provo High teacher pleads guilty... 17
- U.S. Supreme Court overturns EPA's... 13
- My view: Utah lawmakers can protect... 13