Obituary of Joshua "Josh" Caleb VandenBrink
Joshua "Josh" VandenBrink left this world the evening of December 6, 2022, signing off shortly after he made dinner for his daughter, Magdalene "Maggie" Rose (age 6) and his son, Joshua Henry "Hank" (age 5). To everyone's surprise, it was a pulmonary embolism at his home in Monument, Colorado that claimed him, and not in one of the countless heroic missions he served in, under a barrage of bullets, and working in unison with his special operator brothers protecting one another and this great country.
Serving for fourteen years and twenty-one combat missions as a United States Air Force Pararescueman, or "PJ", was a defining part of his character and soul. Although he grew up with nine brothers and one sister, Josh found and forged a deep brotherhood with each and every one of his team members. Serving side by side with men just as elite as he is, protecting America's interest, and in the down time, giving each other as hard of a time as possible because that's exactly what brother's do. Being part of the elite is exactly the type of minimum acceptable achievement Josh would hold himself to in all facets of his life. This evidenced so clearly in the various artwork he created after leaving the service. His handmade steel American and state flags can be found in thousands of homes around the country, as well as featured in the Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC, and proudly displayed on the sets of the podcast "The Joe Rogan Experience" and the television series "Forged in Fire." The meticulous attention to detail and the personal pride in each piece he created is the exact care and dedication he took in every portion of his life.
These amazing accomplishments that will be part of his legacy, they pale in comparison to his greatest achievement and proudest moments of life; being a father to Maggie and Hank. His every breath was centered around these two spectacular kids, and nearly every smile that fell upon his face was a direct result of both of them. Maggie and Hank exuded the same kind of heart melting love that their father always did. If Josh was telling you a story, it's more likely to be about these two lovable munchkins than any day in his service or creation of his art. His legacy, love, and amazing sense of humor will invariably carry on in the hearts of Maggie and Hank more than any of the countless others who's lives he's been an integral part of for so long.
Josh is survived by his father, David VandenBrink; stepmother, Kathleen VandenBrink; brothers and stepbrothers, Jim, Ray, James, Joe, Mike, Matt, Michael, and David "Junior"; his sister, Amy; and his children, Magdalene "Maggie" Rose and Joshua Henry "Hank".
Memorial Service, 11:00AM-1:30PM, Friday, December 16, 2022, United States Air Force Academy Jump School, Ground Training Facility, USAFA, Colorado.
Memorial Contributions in Josh's memory can be made at https://www.gofundme.com/f/donate-in-loving-memory-of-josh-vandenbrink.
Friday, December 16, 2022
11:00AM - 1:30PM
United States Air Force Academy Jump School
Ground Training Facility
USAFA, CO 80840
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