Joseph was born in Elkins Park, PA but was raised in Philadelphia. He came from a long line of military personnel and made the decision to join the USAF right out of high school at the age of 19 in Marshfield, MA, immediately signing his name for a full 20 year service. But before choosing to serve our country, he enjoyed sports such as baseball (Phillies), football (Eagles), hockey (Flyers) and even wrestling; he enjoyed the normal teenage boy activities.
Joseph’s to-do in the USAF was to man the control tower and to also train local military how to do the same. When Joseph turned 23, he became a father to a beautiful daughter. But that happiness was short lived as he was to ship out not long after. While he was deployed to the Middle East, a mortar round hit 50 feet from the control tower, which shook him severely. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the worst of it; while he was deployed to Balad, he witnessed many horrifying sights such as the transfer of fellow military personnel who were KIA.
But despite everything he was subjected to, Joe remained in good spirits. As years went by Joseph remained a carefree, loving man. His smile, the very same smile that can be seen in his 2nd daughter, could light up any room, and no matter if you knew him your entire life or just for a fleeting moment, you remembered him. Joseph traveled to many places, he got to see the world. He lived life how he wanted, but always remembered where he came from. He served honorably for 18.5 years before retiring.
Unfortunately, after he retired, he chose not to keep in contact with his family. It was obvious he suffered from PTSD, and as the phone calls and text messages dwindled down to almost nothing, Joseph became a nomad. He spent quite a good time down in South America before returning to the United States. Years went by with no phone calls or text messages then unfortunately on March 27th, 2020 Joseph decided to end his life. His suicide was put under investigation by local authorities, and due to unfortunate complications between his family and current wife, along with COVID-19, Joseph’s remains were unable to be transferred home to Pennsylvania for him to be honored at a local veteran’s cemetery. However, despite the complications that arose quickly after his death, Joseph’s mother took to Facebook to begin fundraising money for non-profit organizations that assist veterans and their families. Joseph’s suicide is not just another suicide, his death was due to pain that he unfortunately could no longer battle against. But it is not stopping his family from fighting for the absolute truth, and as they do, they will continue to also fight for other families and veterans alike. Joseph’s mother said. “The best thing that anyone can do for me and for my family during this time is to donate – just get involved”. Joseph’s memory will live on through the hearts of those who love him. He will never be forgotten.
Deployments: Kabul, Afghanistan, Balad, Iraq
Places he called home: Pennsylvania & Massachusetts
Name and location of final resting place: Morgantown, WV
#22toomany #OurHeroes are #NeverForgotten