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Marine Corps League stands by fallen soldier

Date: 2/17/2010

Feb. 17, 2010.

By Katelyn Gendron

Reminder Assistant Editor

WESTFIELD -- The members of the Marine Corps League in Westfield have stood by the Bouchard family's side since April 2009.

On a spring day last year, Marine Sgt. Joshua J. Bouchard's life and the lives of his family members changed forever, when his Humvee was struck by an improvised explosive device while serving in Afghanistan. Bouchard lost his left leg and sustained severe back injuries while two other Marines were killed and another was wounded in the explosion.

Bouchard, 27, of Granby, was scheduled to return home from Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center in Richmond, Va., last weekend; however, additional surgery was needed to remove a piece of his tailbone that was causing pain and inflammation, according to Frank Real Jr., public affairs officer for the Marine Corps League, Westfield River Valley Detachment 141.

Sue Bouchard, Joshua's stepmother, said his homecoming has been delayed for at least two weeks.

"It all depends on how quickly he recovers from the surgery," she added. "It's disappointing as we were really looking forward to it and seeing his friends and family."

Real noted a member of the Marine Corps League has been with Joshua since his initial injury.

He said Joshua is "in good spirits" and his father, Jim Bouchard, a Navy corpsman who served in Vietnam, has also been by his side.

Real noted Jim has been voted into the league's 141 Detachment and will be sworn in at the March 8 meeting. Josh will also be awarded with special honors.

He said Josh is still an active duty Marine who has served since 2004 with the 2nd Marine Division out of Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Real explained homecoming celebrations have yet to be rescheduled. Sue said the celebration would include a "Welcome Home Josh" banner on Route 202 in Holyoke as well as a gathering of flags and signs at Five Corners in Granby.

Further information will be released barring his post-op progress.