Joshua Aaron “Red” Meeks, 21, of Whitwell, died Saturday night, Nov. 13, 2010, at his home.
According to published reports, Meeks died at about 11:30 EST from a single gunshot wound when the gun he was cleaning accidentally discharged.
Meeks deployed to Iraq on July 25, 2009, with his unit, which returned home exactly one year later without a casualty. Headquarters of the 252nd Military Police Company is located in Cleveland, with a detachment in Louisville.
Meeks and his wife, Kimberly, were married in August.
He was to participate Sunday with the rest of the company in an awards ceremony at Westwood Baptist Church to recognize the soldiers for the completion of a successful mission without a single casualty.
Tennessee National Guard Public Affairs Director Randy Harris said everyone in the Guard community was saddened by Meeks’ death.
“It was a very unfortunate accident. Our sympathies go out to the family,” he said.
Shelia Cannon, the family resource group leader for the 252nd MP Co., said, “The past few days have been difficult as the 252nd families grieve and try to help out Josh’s family. We are all saddened by the passing of Spc. Josh Meeks. We would ask the community’s continued prayer, not only for Josh’s family, but also for the 252nd MP Co. family as a whole, during this difficult time and in the days and weeks ahead.”
Meeks was a member of the Haverns Chapel United Methodist Church. He served in the National Guard Unit 252 as a combat military police officer and worked as a sheriff’s deputy for the Bledsoe County Sheriff’s Department.
He was preceded in death by his maternal grandfather, George Spencer Lane; paternal grandfather, Homer Meeks; and grandfather, Lee Roy Yell.
He is survived by his wife, Kimberly Annette Meeks; parents, DeAnna Lane Meeks of Whitwell and William Allen Meeks of Tracy City; three brothers: Jacob (Tiffany) and Jeramiah (Brandi) Meeks and Jackie Jo Guy II, all of Whitwell; sister, Tabitha “Battle Buddy” Higgins; maternal grandmother, Martha “Mee Maw” Lane of Whitwell; grandmothers: Jo Ann Lockhart Meeks of Tracy City and Jane Yell of Whitwell; niece, Sophie G. Meeks; aunts, Elizabeth (Jeff) Lane of Chattanooga and Roxann Green of Tracy City; uncles and aunts: Rusty Meeks of Tracy City and David and Loretta Lea; great-uncles: Preston (Carolyn) Cates of Dunlap and Robert Y. (Donna) Lane of Whitwell; great-aunt, Sonya Pickett of Whitwell; mother-in-law, Alberta Walker of Whitwell; brothers-in-law: Mark Michaels, Bailey Nunley, and Landon, Brandon and Dylan Walker; and several cousins, military brothers and friends.
The funeral will be held Thursday, Nov. 18, at 2 p.m. EST in the funeral home chapel with the Revs. Jim Diehel and Tony Cates officiating. Burial will be in the Sequatchie Valley Memorial Gardens with military honors.
The family will receive friends today from 1 to 10 p.m. EST and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. EST.
Arrangements are by Reed Funeral Home, Whitwell.