Bill Juneau of Rush City loved adventure and wanted to help Iraqis build a better future, his family and friends said. He was killed Monday by a roadside bomb.
If there was one thing Bill Juneau loved as much as his country, it was his dog, Jake.
The accident-prone black Lab, who has been hit by two cars, had a toe amputated on his right paw and survived eating 42 candy bars in one sitting, once fell off a dock and through the ice on a lake while Juneau was hunting with his best friend, Dan Bock.
Bock said Juneau jumped into the icy, chest-deep water to save his dog.
"He threw that wet dog on the deck and sacrificed everything to save him," said Bock, 36, of Chanhassen. "Bill's just that type of guy."
Bock and others were grieving Tuesday for Juneau, 36, of Rush City, Minn. He was killed Monday by a roadside bomb that hit his convoy 50 miles outside Baghdad.
In June 2006, Juneau joined DynCorp International of Falls Church, Va., a contract company in Iraq. In that job, the former Chisago County sheriff's deputy used his 10 years of law-enforcement experience to train Iraqi police recruits.
His twin sister, Bridget Sura of Andover, said he wanted to help Iraqis rebuild their country and create better lives.
"He would often sugar-coat the bad stuff, because he wanted us to know about the positive things," she said. "But we still worried every minute of every day."
Another reason he joined was because he loved adventure, she said. While with the Chisago County Sheriff's Department, he started and led a SWAT team.
He loved to hunt deer, elk and bear and take fishing trips to Canada, Bock said.
Every year, Juneau and Bock went hunting together. One year they dragged a television and Sony PlayStation 2 into their deer shack, Bock said.
Juneau was also a talented builder, always willing to lend a hand to friends, Bock said. He used the money he earned from his job in Iraq to buy land in Montana, where he had hooped to retire and build a house, Bock said.
Juneau was proud to serve both his country and Iraq, and kept a blog about his time there, Bock said.
Jake has been embraced by Juneau's sister's family. "He has more lives than a cat," Sura said, adding that they recently discovered a chocolate stash he'd hidden in his kennel.
"Jake is a part of my brother," she said. "[Bill] will be missed by a lot of people. This will leave a hole in a lot of people's hearts."
Besides his twin sister, Juneau is survived by another sister, Stephanie Juneau-Torgerson; his father, Mark Juneau; two nephews and two nieces. Preliminary funeral arrangements have been made for Dec. 7 at Church of the Epiphany in Coon Rapids. Courtney Blanchard 612-673-4921
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