Army Staff Sergeant Joseph Alan Gage, 28, was born February 15, 1978, a native of Modesto, California. He was killed on November 2, 2006, when the vehicle in which he was riding was struck by an improvised-explosive device in eastern Baghdad. He served with the 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division based at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He is survived by his wife of seven years, Samantha, and 6-year-old son, Michael; his father, Randy, and step-mother, Tamera; his sister, Julie; and his grandparents. His mother, Kathryn, had died in 1998. Staff Sergeant Gage was dedicated to the war against terrorism. He was laid to rest at Kentucky Veterans Cemetery West with full military honors. The military were his pallbearers.
Gage attended Downey and Johansen High Schools. While a teenager he enjoyed playing the drums for the high school band. He joined the army in 1997. He met his wife in Hawaii in July of 1999 and they were married shortly after in November of that same year. Their son Mikkie was born August of the following year and was the joy of Joe's life. His favorite part of the day was to come home to the entire family including the dog.
He was 11 days short of finishing his second tour in Iraq. He had just signed up for 12 more years in the army and was set to serve in Germany next. His plans also included a family vacation to Las Vegas during an upcoming leave. Joseph liked tattoos and often got a new one. After his death, his wife, father and sister all got tattoos as permanent memorials to him. Gage's awards include the Army Good Conduct Medal, The Bronze Star, and the Purple Heart.
The Gage Family is supporting the Fisher House Foundation through Dog Tag Legacy Fund. Fisher Houses are beautiful homes, donated to the military and Department of Veterans Affairs. These homes enable family members to be close to a loved one at the most stressful time - during the hospitalization for a combat injury, illness or disease.