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Procession honors deceased Ga. soldier

A Villa Rica soldier killed in Afghanistan was honored Sunday with a procession as his body was returned to Douglas County.

Army Staff Sgt. Joshua J. Bowden, 28, died Aug. 31 in Ghazni, Afghanistan, from injuries sustained when enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire while on patrol, the Department of Defense said in a statement last Sunday.

Bowden arrived at Fulton County’s Charlie Brown Field around 10:30 a.m. Sunday, where he was received by his family. They traveled to the Whitley-Garner at Rosehaven Funeral Home in Douglasville, accompanied by members of the Patriot Guard.

Sunday’s route went from Fulton Industrial Boulevard to Mableton Parkway to Bankhead Highway to Church Street, then to Rose Avenue and the funeral home. It is located at 8630 Rose Avenue in Douglasville.

The funeral service will be held at 1:30 p.m. Monday at Central Baptist Church, 5811 Central Church Road. That procession will travel from Rose Avenue to Ga. 5 to Kings Highway, and then to Central Church Road. People who want to show their respect for Bowden can line the route.

Bowden will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery at a later date with full military honors.

For more information on the processionals, visit http://www.celebratedouglascounty.com.

Bowden joined the Army in late 2005 and was on his second deployment, The Gazette of Colorado Springs reported. He previously deployed to Afghanistan from 2008-09.

Friends remembered him as a talented athlete. Bowden excelled in soccer in high school, and was named Douglas County’s player of the year in 2003. In karate, he was a Junior Olympic champion, as well as a national and international champion.

Bowden’s former karate instructor, Samantha Hostettler, recalled Bowden as a smart student who earned his black belt at a young age who was protective of his sister.

“You know boys - sometimes they’re not openly loving with their family,” Hostettler, owner of Champion Karate and Fitness in Douglasville, told the Colorado newspaper. “But he just loved his sister. He took care of her.”

Bowden, the son of AJC employee Ray Bowden, was assigned to the 242nd Ordnance Battalion (EOD), 71st Ordnance Group (EOD), Fort Carson, Colo. He was a 2003 graduate of Alexander High School in Douglas County.

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The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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