Joshua Blaney

MATTHEWS, N.C. - Cpl. Blaney, 25, stationed with 173rd Airborne in Vicenza, Italy passed away Dec. 12, 2007, serving his country in Afghanistan as a result of his convoy being hit by an IED.

Joshua was born Sept. 15, 1982 in Charlotte, N.C., the son of Dianne B. Massey and Charles Edward Blaney. Josh graduated from Butler High School in 2002. Joshua was an exceptional young man with a compassionate and loving heart for his family and those that were fortunate enough to know him were his friends for life.

Cpl. Blaney made the combat jump into Northern Iraq on March 26, 2003 for which he received the Parachutist Badge with Bronze Service Star which opened the northern front and ultimate success of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In Iraq, he was wounded on Dec. 12, 2003 for which he received a Purple Heart.

Cpl. Blaney also served in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan from February 2005 to February 2006. He was deployed to Afghanistan for a second tour in May 2007 and paid the ultimate sacrifice on Dec. 12, 2007, receiving the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. Josh received the Army Commendation Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, NATO Medal and the Combat Infantry Badge for Iraq and Afghanistan.

Funeral services to celebrate Joshua's life will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21, 2007, at Hickory Grove Baptist Church, officiated by the Reverend Arnold Kessler. Interment will follow at Charlotte Memorial Gardens. Pallbearers are from the 82nd Airborne Division, Ft. Bragg, N.C. Honorary Pallbearers are Josh's lifelong friends: Joshua Edwards, Brian Williams, Greg St. Martin, Ben Green, Ben Fields, Trent Guilland and Nick Brooks. Visitation will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. today, Dec. 20, 2007 at McEwen Funeral Service Mint Hill Chapel and from noon to 2 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21, 2007, prior to the church service.

Josh is survived by his mother, Dianne B. Massey and husband, Eric of Fort Mill, S.C.; father, Charles E. Blaney of Matthews, N.C.; brother, Eddie Allen and wife, Misty of Kershaw, S.C.; sister, Carley Blaney of Matthews, N.C.; stepsister, Angie Massey of Rock Hill, S.C.; stepbrother, Todd Massey and wife, Kelly of Rock Hill, S.C.; grandfather, Sidney Belk of Charlotte, N.C.; aunt and uncles, Greg Belk and wife, Sheri of Charleston, S.C., Pat Belk of Indian Trail, N.C., Amy Belk and husband, Mike of Charlotte, N.C., and Kenneth Blaney of Yorktown, Va.; nieces and nephews, Ashley Allen, Brandon Allen, Austin Surratt, Chase Allen, Matthew Allen, Talayeh Joel, Naiya Ellis; and numerous cousins and friends.

Josh was preceded in death by his maternal grandmother, Dorothy C. Belk and his paternal grandparents, Eugene and Francis Louise Blaney.

Memorial donations may be made to the Josh Blaney Memorial Fund for Wounded Soldiers, c/o Dianne Massey, 2350 Sunset Circle, Fort Mill, SC 29715.

Online condolences and tributes for the family may be made at

Arrangements are in the care of McEwen Funeral Service Mint Hill Chapel, 7428 Matthews Mint Hill Road.

Published in The Herald from Dec. 19 to Dec. 21, 2007