Time of Remembrance

Joseph E. Helton

Age:

24

Hometown:

Monroe, GA

Date of Death:

2009/09/08

Incident Location:

Baghdad, Iraq

Military Branch:

United States Air Force

Rank:

1LT

Unit:

6th Security Forces Squadron

Unit Base:

MacDill AFB, FL

1LT Joseph D. Helton Jr., 24, of Monroe GA, died September 8, 2009 serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was assigned to the 6th Security Forces Squadron, MacDill Air Force Base, FL. He died near Baghdad of wounds sustained when enemy forces attacked his vehicle with an improvised explosive device.

Helton was deployed from the 6th Security Forces Squadron at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla. He was stationed there in 2007 after graduating from the Air Force Academy, reports said. If someone had a question, Joseph D. Helton was the man to go to for the answer. “He just looked like he knew the answers,” said his mother, Jiffy. He was comfortable cooking his signature treat, baklava, and cleaning, but he also had a “quiet, commanding presence,” she said. He admired his family’s service — his parents, grandparents and three uncles all had been in the armed forces — and doodled battleships and fighter jets as a child. The daydreaming was not in vain: He went to the Air Force Academy, graduating in 2007. He then was assigned to MacDill Air Force Base, Fla. He didn’t want to leave his sisters behind, but his mother insisted he follow his dream.