All Cpl. Joshua Barron ever wanted was to be a Marine.

Just before his 18th birthday, he pressed his mother to let him enlist in the service. Belinda Barron of Baldwin told her son to go to bed and pray and listen to what God tells him to do.

“Josh got up the next morning, dancing in front of the fridge, saying, ‘This is what I’m supposed to do,’ ” his mother recalled Tuesday. “It’s not what I really wanted for him, but this is what he was called to do, so I let him do it.”

Cpl. Barron was found dead on March 21 in an irrigation canal in Yuma, Ariz., with a gunshot wound to the head. He was 22.

Police in Yuma are still investigating the circumstances surrounding his death.

He was stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, where he was a Harrier jet mechanic with Marine Logistics Squadron 13. He was pursuing a degree to become an agent for the Central Intelligence Agency.

He is survived by his wife, Natasha Barron of Limington, and his stepson, Aiden DiPaolo-Pouliot. He also leaves a sister, Sarah Yeo of Gardiner.

Attempts to reach his wife were unsuccessful.

Cpl. Barron was remembered by his mother Tuesday as a loyal and compassionate person who had a “strong will and a warrior heart.”

He grew up in Standish and graduated from Bonny Eagle High School in 2007. There, he excelled in football and wrestling. He also learned karate. Throughout school, he had his sights set on joining the Marines.

“We train our kids to want to be a part of a team,” said his mother. “The team thing was really important to him … He was hoping to find a camaraderie of the forces … an extended family … That’s what drove him to sign up.”

A year ago, Belinda Barron followed in her son’s footsteps and enlisted in the Army Reserves. She is now a first lieutenant in the 399th Army Reserve Combat Support Hospital, an Army Reserve unit based in Fort Devens, Mass.

She was taking an officer’s training course at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, when she got a text message from a friend saying that her son was missing.

“My son is a Marine,” she said. “That is all he ever wanted to be. He didn’t just get up and walk away.”

Cpl. Barron was last seen around 10:30 p.m. on March 15 at his home in Yuma. He was reported missing the next day, when he didn’t show up for work.

When he was at the base, he woke up around 5 every morning for an exercise training program. He usually rode his bike to the session.

On the morning he was reported missing, his bike was in his driveway and his wallet was at his home. When his body was found on March 21, he was not dressed for a training session and he had no identification tags on him, his mother said.

“You wake up in the morning and your whole heart and body wretches and screams and cries until there’s nothing left,” his mother said. “It happens every morning like clockwork. You wake up and think it’s a nightmare. You see a flash of what you think he lived through, and you cry again. … I have that same warrior heart that my son has. … When this is all done, I probably won’t be so strong.”

Cpl. Barron’s body is expected to arrive at Boston’s Logan Airport around 11:20 this morning. It will be escorted by Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine state police back to Portland, where his wake will be held on Friday.

His mother, his sister and his wife are expected to ride in the car behind him.

 

Staff Writer Melanie Creamer can be contacted at 791-6361 or at: [email protected]