Petty Officer First Class SEAL Joshua Thomas Harris ’94, of Virginia Beach, Va., died Aug. 30 in a combat operation in Afghanistan. Described in a U.S. Navy press release as a “highly decorated combat veteran,” he is the second Davidson alumnus killed in the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Josh was born in Chapel Hill on Apr. 19, 1972, to Dr. Sam R. Harris and Evelyn Long Harris, 6182 E. U.S. Highway 64, Lexington, NC 27292. He graduated from Lexington Senior High School and Davidson with a degree in studio art. He went on to pursue a master’s degree in architecture from UNC Charlotte and enlisted in the Navy in August 2000.
Near the maximum age for eligibility at 28, he aimed to become an elite Navy SEAL, and he succeeded. He deployed several times to Iraq and Afghanistan, where he was serving with the Naval Special Warfare Command Development Group (NSWDG) when he died. His numerous medals include the Bronze Star.
Surviving are his parents; his twin sister, Kiki Harris; brother, S. Ranchor Harris III (Serine); two nephews, Dylan and Chase; and uncles and aunts, Thomas Veach and Sveta Long, Randy and Penny Overby, and Tom and Marci Harris.