Fallen soldier’s family opens Guatemalan school in his honor
Joshua A. Molina’s death in Iraq did not cut short his dreams of bettering the lives of Guatemalan children.
Molina, a 20-year-old Army Corporal, was born and raised in Houston.
As he grew up, he always knew he wanted to join the Army.
Molina joined the ROTC program at Alief Elisk High School and enlisted in the military after graduating in 2005.
His sister, Paula Fredrickson, describes him as an outgoing and good-natured person.
“He got along with everybody; always had a smile on his face, always laughing,” Fredrickson said. “He enjoyed spending time with his family and friends.”
Molina knew he wanted to go to college and work towards a vision he always had after he finished serving in the Army.
Corporal Molina wanted to establish a foundation to build a school and provide school supplies for impoverished children in Guatemala.
“Joshua went with our parents to visit Guatemala and was touched by the conditions in which children were growing and living in,” Fredrickson said. “He saw how many of these children had no family or hope. He made a decision the he was going to return to Guatemala after he returned from combat to establish a foundation to build a school and provide school supplies to these children.”
Molina’s life would be cut short when was killed in action on March 27, 2008 from wounds he suffered when his vehicle was blown up by an improvised explosive device in Baghdad.
As of June 27, 6,086 American soldiers have been killed in Iraq, according to the Department of Defense.
Of all the soldiers killed, 611 were Hispanic or Latino.
According to the Pew Hispanic Research Center, while Latinos make up 9.5 percent of the actively enlisted forces, they are over-represented in the categories that get the most dangerous assignments—infantry, gun crews and seamanship—and make up over 17.5 percent of the front lines.
Molina was scheduled to return home in November of this year.
His dream, however, was not lost.
“My family continued his vision and we established Joshuamolinafoundation.8m.com. Our entire family contributes in managing the foundation,” Fredrickson said.
The foundation has already funded the construction of a school, with Molina’s mother personally going to Guatemala to buy the materials needed for its completion.
“We will go to Guatemala around Christmas time to give out the scholarships to children,” Fredrickson said. “We are extremely proud of him and he is truly missed.”
For more information or to donate to Molina’s school in Guatamala go to www.JoshuaMolinaFoundation.8m.