U.S. Army Captain Joshua Lawrence, Austin Peay State ’04, enjoyed military life and considered his service in the Army to be an ideal career. He had already served two tours of duty in Korea and was ready for a new challenge when he was deployed to Afghanistan in 2011 as an assistant plans officer.
Seven days after marrying his wife, Brittany, Lawrence left for Afghanistan. The couple planned to honeymoon in Ireland after his return. But he was killed on Oct. 8, 2011, when Afghan insurgents attacked his unit.
Fellow soldiers said the six-year Army veteran had an insatiable thirst for knowledge and was skilled at planning complex operations. They also remembered him as someone who always had a positive attitude and looked out for others.
SigEp brother Paul Braddy, ’06, echoed those sentiments as he recalled the impact Lawrence continues to have on his life. “Josh lived Sigma Phi Epsilon. … He breathed a moral compass that was always pushing for the Fraternity to do the right thing, whether the right thing was the popular choice or not,” Braddy shared. “He taught me so much in such a short time that I still carry with me today.”
Charlie Partian, ’04, served as Lawrence’s big brother in the chapter. His son is just one of several children of Tennessee Eta members named after the friend brothers fondly call “Twitch.”
“He truly lived out the cardinal principles of SigEp, not only throughout his college years, but up until the day he was called home. It always made him happy to help others, and I know without a doubt, he gave his life just as selflessly to his country. Twitch exemplified everything a balanced man should be.”