DOWNEY - Josh Wright, the Downey resident whose large, giving heart was perhaps eclipsed only by his enthusiastic patriotism and support of U.S. combat troops, has died, family members said in an e-mail.He was 31. Wright was hospitalized Sept. 5 after experiencing a "severe brain bleed," Monica, Josh's twin sister, said through e-mail. Josh's brain swelled and he became paralyzed on his left side. He spent time in the intensive care unit at Kootenai Medical Center in Hayden, Idaho but never recovered. "My heart breaks for all those Marines that have used him for support and have come to know him as a brother Marine without a uniform," Monica said. "I have had him my whole life and you all only for a few years. You have been cheated and blessed at the same time." Wright was an avid supporter of U.S. troops, pariticularly the Marines. Although he was disqualified from serving due to a bone marrow transplant in 1983, Josh often used his own money to assemble and ship care packages for troops overseas. "The care packages are a lifeline for some troops," Wright, a 1997 graduate of Downey High School, told The Downey Patriot in a 2007 interview. "Sometimes it's the only thing they can count on." Wright began assembling the care packages after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. He also communicated with troops via letters and e-mail. "Sometimes they write back, sometimes they don't," Wright said. "I'm not offended if they don't. They're busy. Busy trying to stay alive." According to Monica, Josh's body will be returned to California in a couple of weeks. The family would like his ashes to be spread at Camp Pendleton. "His heart was with them and that is where he should stay," she said.
********** Published: September 18, 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 22