Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Joseph L. Annello. Joseph served during the Korean War.

Joseph was born 1933 in Massachusetts. He completed his third year of high school before enlisting into the Army in 1950. His first four tours were all in Korea.

In his first tour in Korea, Joseph was a machine gunner in the machine gun platoon, H Company 7th Regimental Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division. On 24 April 1951, near Taejon-ni, North Korea, Sergeant Joseph and his squad got ambushed. Amidst the attack, a hand grenade shot across his leg, all of the troops except for three were killed and the remaining soldiers were captured as prisoners. Joseph was held as a prisoner of war until he successfully escaped May 1951. He was the Operations Sergeant, 8057th ASU, Bupyung, during the 2nd and 3rd tours, and Joseph was the Sergeant Major, Detachment R, Korean Military Advisory Group, Taeg for his fourth tour. In 1959, Joseph married Joan, formerly Jung Ae Choi. Her uncle was one of the Korean soldiers Joseph trained.

After his four tours in Korea, Joseph went to the Defense Language Institute to learn Chinese, Chinese Mandarin and Chinese Cantonese. He became a qualified Chinese interpreter and later learned Japanese to become a Japanese linguist. Afterwards, Joseph served three tours in Japan from 1967 to 1970. By the end of Joseph’s military service, he had earned a Silver Star, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Prisoner of War Medal, Good Conduct Medal (7th Award), Japanese Occupation Medal, Korean Service Medal (3 Battle stars), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, United Nations Korean Service Medal and several other service medals.

After his service was completed, Joseph continued to further his education by attending the University of Massachusetts and earning Civil Engineering and Business Administration degrees. He passed away November 2018.

We honor his service. 

Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. All it takes is an email to with as much information as you can put together, along with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.

Graphic by Nikki Lumbre: Nikki is an undergraduate junior at The Catholic University of America studying Anthropology and Asian Studies.

Share this story

Published on Dec. 2, 2018

Estimated reading time is 2.1 min.

Views to date: 134

More Stories

  • John Thurman served in the Marine Corps during World War II, fought on Iwo Jima and saw the famous flag raising on Mount Suribachi.

  • Edward Carter Jr. was one of the few African Americans to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions during World War II.

  • Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Spiros “Steve” Pisanos, a Greek national who flew for the British Royal Air Force as an American pilot during World War II.