This Memorial Page Established by -Gaye Bishop
In Honor Of PFC John T. Bishop
Many people often refer to our fallen soldiers as heroes for their endless sacrifices
to our country, themselves and their families, but what actually makes someone a hero?  
Webster’s dictionary defines a hero as a man who is distinguished by exceptional courage,
nobility and strength. While all of those things are definitely true of our local hero Pfc. John T.
Bishop, there is so much more than just those three brief words that make John the hero that
we know him as. John’s life can’t be summed up so generically such as Webster implies.
John’s life began on February 26th, 1986 when my mother and father John and Gaye Bishop
first looked into their son’s young innocent eyes and cradled their precious new miracle from
God. John didn’t know it then, but that was the first piece of this grand puzzle that set his life
in motion. John was born into a blended family whose values were built upon compassion.
He was the youngest of five children and although his family was blended between half
brothers and sisters he never referred to them as anything other than his siblings. Simply put,
he was the glue that tied us all together and made us the complete family that we are today.
Throughout John’s youth, he had many interests that brought his adolescent years to a
forefront. Growing up he enjoyed computers, new technology and playing organized sports
such as bowling, little league and soccer.  Although he was competitive and excelled at
everything he did he never worried about being the best. Instead he chose to focus his
positive energy on what he was doing to the fullest and making friends with all of those
around him. With never a hint of fear in his eyes, he later went on to more thrill seeking
endeavors such as snowmobiling, sky diving, shooting guns and driving fast. Because of his
lack of fear it is not surprising that he was never afraid of a fight or of dying. He always said,
“When your times up, it’s up and there’s nothing you can do about it.” John always had a
positive attitude and a smile on his face.  Nothing gave John more pleasure than spending
time with family and friends.  He was always more than willing to sacrifice his own needs !
for those of others.
Prior to enlisting in the United States Army, John attended Gaylord High School where he
earned his GED ahead of his class at the age of 17.   While he was a freshman in high school
he met Diane Caddell.  They were best friends until the summer before her senior year when
John kissed her and then they became inseparable.  They married in Las Vegas on July 19,
2007 while he was home on leave.
At the young age of 20 and in the midst of a war, John’s nobility was displayed when he
enlisted in the United States Army on August 22nd, 2006. Following in his father and two
older brother’s footsteps he felt it was his duty to serve our country as they had.  John knew
when he joined the Army he would eventually be deployed to Iraq and still he never showed a
hint of fear to anyone around him. He quickly excelled in the military and earned his expert
infantry badge on his first try which was an exceptional accomplishment.  One of John’s
Sergeant’s in the Army said he would always give John the hard to complete or next to
impossible tasks knowing that John would  find a way to complete them regardless of the
risks or consequences. John quickly proved to his Sergeant and other superiors that this was
John courageously took his last breath on April 23rd, 2008 in Golden Hills Iraq while involved
in a vehicle roll over accident during one of his missions. John’s last breath may be the
symbol of the end of his life to many, but to all of us that know him and love him it is only the
beginning of a great celebration. John’s life brings meaning to those few brief words once laid
out by Webster and adding the missing piece of it all….compassion. That is what makes John
whole and complete.   



September 07, 2011
Every time I see another soldier has died, I think of you and mis you more and more! I can't
wait to see you again some day!
Pfc. John T. Bishop

United States Army
KIA 23 April 2008, Iraq
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22, of Gaylord, Mich.; assigned to the 1st Squadron, 32nd Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat
Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.; died April 23 in Balad, Iraq, of
injuries sustained in a vehicle incident.