Soldier Honored: Joel E. Baldwin
Hometown: Arlington, VA
Branch of Service: Navy
Rank: Chief Petty Officer
Navy Chief Petty Officer Joel Baldwin, 37, of Arlington, Virginia, was assigned to the Navy Mobile Construction Battalion 77, based out of Gulfport, Mississippi. On December 21, 2004, while serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom, CPO Baldwin was killed when a suicide bomber detonated an improvised explosive device. The explosion, which killed 22 and wounded 69, occurred as service members, civilian contractors, and Iraqi guardsmen sat down for lunch at Forward Operating Base Marez in Mosul, Iraq.
Born in Panama, CPO Baldwin graduated high school in 1987, and joined the Navy in 1988. Before going to his last post, he taught quality control to sailors training in Seabee ratings at the Naval Construction Training Center in Gulfport, Mississippi. After five and a half years of duty in Fort Davis, Panama, CPO Baldwin was selected for duty with the Naval Support Unity, State Department, and was stationed at the United States Embassy in Mexico City for two years.
“He was just a very good human being, an exceptional Navy leader and a great Seabee,” said CAPT will McKerall, commanding officer of the Naval Construction Battalion Center. “Joel was a loving, loyal, honorable, valiant, giving, hard-working person who positively impacted every person he met,” his family said. “All who knew him would agree that their lives were permanently enriched by him.”
CPO Baldwin’s daughter is a Folds of Honor Scholarship recipient