"Patriotic Arab Americans Making a Difference"

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         WE REMEMBER
John T. Joseph of Monroeville PA.

Colonel Joseph was born Sept. 25, 1916 in Blairsville, son of the late Michael and Virginia Tamer Joseph. (his father's real last name was Khouri) He was a World War ll hero, a retired U.S. Army officer and the founding chairman of the Blairsville Municipal Authority, in PA.

Following Blairsville High School he graduated from :Indiana State Teacher's College in l940 and was commissined an Army second lieutenant in l942. After parachute training he was sent to the 507th Parachute infantry Regiment.

ON D.DAY-June 6, l944 he parachuted into FRANCE as a PATHFINDER REGIMENTAL LEADER, preparing the way for the invasion of Europe. Later he parachuted across the Rhine River into Germany as a company commander.

In l951 he was the 8th Army's Plans and Operations officer for Air Operations during the Korean War. Later he served with the Adjutant General's office, Pentagon: commander of the 1st Battalion, 511th Airborn Regiment: CHIEF OF STAFF, 24th Div. Brigade, Lebanon: Combat Developments Officer, Ft. Benning Ga.

Joseph was on Staff of the commander in chief, Atlantic, Norfolc VA. where he was in charge of planning for Army operations in the Caribbean, with particular emphasis on Cuba. He served as a staff operations officer during the Cuban Missile Crisis in l962. In l966 he returned from Korea where he had served as senior advisor to the V Republic of Korea Corp.

In June l966 he was assigned as professor of military science at Indiana University of PA. He retired from military service in Sept. l966.

In November l967 he joined the State Department's Agency for International Development and subseqently became province senior advisor, Phoue Tuy, South Vietnam. He served in Vietnam for 22 months.

Among his many decorations were the Silver Star, with Oak Leaf Cluster, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star with to Oak Leaf Clusters, the PURPLE HEART with two oak Leaf Clusters and the Joint Service Commendation Medal.

In July l978 he returned to Blairsville and served as the first chairman of the Blairsville Municipal Authorit, serving during the controversial construction of the new water line from the Hillside reservoir to Blairsville.

He passed away on Sunday August l9, l996 in his home in Monroeville, PA. He is servived by his Wife, American Born Syrian, Mary Jane Asper, and his three children, Thomas (who served in the Army also), Anita, and David Joseph.

He was a wonderful man, and was very very very proud of his Syrian Heritage, he traveled to Syria with my husband, Samir Khouri prior to his death. He never talked about his accomplishments to us, however we read about him in his obituary. Anyway, I hope I have given you enough info to go by, and Think we should be honored to have him listed as an American Arab. Col. John Joseph was someone we could be proud of.

Thank You
Layla Khouri




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