Joshua Lund was prepared to live a dangerous life serving his country in Iraq, but the Farmington National Guard soldier never got that far. Lund, a 22-year-old National Guard Sergeant, died early Sunday afternoon from injuries he suffered in an auto accident on his way to Camp Ripley.
Lund, a 2001 Farmington High School graduate, was on his way to report for mobilization along with 450 other soldiers. Following a Sunday night deployment ceremony in St. Cloud he was to leave for up to six months of training at Camp Shelby, Miss. He would eventually have been deployed to Iraq.
According to Sean McDermott, a spokesman for the Minnesota State Patrol, Lund and 21-year-old Erin Sauber were northbound on Highway 10 near Little Falls shortly after 7:30 a.m. when the 1992 Ford pickup Lund was driving overturned. According to McDermott, the truck swerved into the median, then rolled when he overcorrected.
Neither Lund nor Sauber was wearing a seatbelt, and both were thrown from the truck. Lund was airlifted to St. Cloud Hospital and died around 1 p.m. Sauber was treated and released at St. Gabriel's Hospital.
It is not yet clear why the vehicle swerved into the median. The accident is under investigation by the State Patrol.
Lund was a wheeled vehicle mechanic in the 134 Brigade Support Batallion's Bravo Company.
Military service runs in Lund's family. His father, David, is retired after 33 years in the Army Reserve. His older brother, David Jr., is a Staff Sergeant in the active duty Air Force. He also has a younger sister, Amanda.
Lund's mother, Laura, is a benefits coordinator for the Farmington School District.
Through a National Guard spokesperson, the Lunds remembered Joshua as patriotic and proud to be serving his company. They recalled his love of baseball and of Saturday night races at Elko Speedway. Last September, Lund and his father helped unfurl a giant United States flag at a Minnesota Twins game.
David Lund said his son planned to try out for the St. Paul Saints when he returned from Iraq, "no matter how long it took."
"He didn't care about playing for money," David Lund said. "He just enjoyed the game."
Laura Lund remembered her son as a charmer.
"He was always doing stupid jokes to make you laugh," she said.
"He was a great guy who could get along with anyone," David Jr. said.
The Lunds had a chance to say good-bye to Joshua. David and Laura both took time off of work to spend with their son in preparation for his deployment. Joshua spent the days before his accident fishing, attending a Twins game and attending farewell parties thrown by his friends.
"He was at peace," Laura Lund said.
A private funeral service for Joshua Lund will be held Friday for family and friends.