By JENNIFER HORTON
The Wilson Post
Services are pending for a Lebanon native serving in the military overseas who died while swimming in an off-base pool in South Korea.
1st Lt. Josh Hovies died Friday, April 19, according to a news release from the United States Air Forces 8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs Office.
The news release noted that Hovies cause of death was still under investigation and that additional information would be released as it became available.
Hovies graduated in December 2010 from Auburn University in Auburn, Ala., where he attended as the recipient of a scholarship from the ROTC. Upon his graduation, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force and was assigned to Incirlik Air Base, Turkey.
He was later assigned to Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, where he was training to be assigned to the Special Forces.
Family friend Pierce Dodson said Hovies was in a swimming pool off of the air base practicing underwater endurance on his own. It was not known how long Hovies was underwater before being noticed, but he apparently drowned.
We are extremely saddened by the loss of one of our finest young officers, said Col. Douglas Nikolai, 8th Fighter Wing vice commander. Our thoughts and prayers are with Lt. Hovies family and close friends.
Dodson said the Hovies family attends First Baptist Church, Lebanon. He remembered Hovies, who was 26, attended a Bible study he conducted and said he was the kind of person who makes a pretty deep impression. He was a fine young man.
Hovies was the son of Tom and Alicia Hovies of Lebanon.
Hovies and his brother, Benjamin, were featured in an article that was published in The Wilson Post on March 9, 2011. Benjamin at the time was attending the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y., and was to graduate in June 2011 with a commission in the U.S. Marine Corps.