Pa. soldier killed by roadside bomb in Afghanistan

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - September 20, 2010

The mother of 23-year-old Joshua Harton of Bethlehem said her son was the only casualty in the ambush Saturday.

Ruth Harton told The Morning Call of Allentown on Monday that Army representatives knocked on the door of her Bethlehem home early Sunday morning to deliver the news.

"We already knew," she told the newspaper. "No one else comes to the door like that. As soon as I saw the uniforms, I knew."

Joshua Harton had served a tour in Iraq and was most recently stationed at Forward Operating Base Griffin in Afghanistan. He spent three weeks at home last month and planned to go into law enforcement after his discharge, his mother said.

Ruth Harton said her son had always been fiercely loyal to his friends, at home and in the service. She doesn't know the details of the ambush but said she was certain Joshua - the 50-caliber rear gunner in his platoon - was protecting his friends.

"He was going to protect his guys and he did," she told WFMZ-TV. "That was Josh."

The Defense Department had no details Monday about Harton's death.

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