Posted: Aug 14, 2012 4:58 PM by KATC
Updated: Aug 14, 2012 5:53 PM
A Scott mother is planning the funeral for her youngest son, a marine who drowned while at the beach with friends. The accident happened over the weekend, off Emerald Isle coast in North Carolina. This is close to Camp Lejeune, where 19-year-old Lance Corporal Esrom Joseph was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines. Family members tell KATC, Joseph wanted to spend the day relaxing with friends at the beach, but while swimming, a rip tide caught him. Officials say two friends noticed he was struggling and tried to hold onto him, but lost their grip. Joseph was the youngest leader of his platoon.
"I don't know how long or how old I'll live to be, but I'll always tell the story of how I lost my 19-year-old son," said Joseph's mother.
Determined and full of life were some of the words Brenda Joseph used to describe her 19-year-old son.
"He was a clown with everything, but he really took the Marines seriously," she said.
Joseph graduated from Carencro High in 2011. Days after graduating, he left for boot camp. He wrote letters to his mother every day. A week before his Marine Corps graduation, he told his mom he was worried about the last portion of training, the swimming test.
"He said, 'mama I don't know if I can do this. This is the last week and I think I'm going to get cut, I can't do the swimming part.' That was the part he struggled with in training because he couldn't swim," she added.
But Joseph passed and learned how to swim. He graduated and then left to Camp Lejeune where he was stationed. Over the weekend, Joseph called his mom telling her he was going to the beach with some friends to relax.
"I said Izzy, do you have a life jacket? He said, 'mama I'm not scared. I'm a marine,'" she said.
Brenda told her son to call her when he got back to the barracks. He never did. It wasn't until three officers showed up at her door, that she knew something was wrong.
"Of course, I was in denial. At first, I screamed, I shouted. This is what he wanted to do, to become a Marine," she said.
Clutching a picture of her son, Brenda is still in disbelief. She says all her son wanted to do was fight for his country and make his mother proud.
"I'm sorry that I had to lose him at a young age, but I am so proud because he wore this uniform proudly," she added.
The viewing will be Sunday at Melancon Funeral Home in Opelousas. From 4:00-5:00 pm, only family members will be allowed. The public viewing will be freom 5:00-9:00pm. Funeral services begin Monday morning at 11am at St. Charles Church in Grand Coteau.