DISCOVERY BAY, CA, US
SPC, 110TH MILITARY POLICE, 49TH MILITARY POLICE BN, (43D MP BDE), FORT HOOD, TX
07/25/2006, BAGHDAD, IRAQ
Born on December 28, 1984, in Castro Valley, California, Joseph A. Graves was always a calm, collected young man. He was an only child to father, Joseph Kevin Graves and mother, Maryan Perreira. His father describes him as an absolutely wonderful joy as a child.
When he was three years old, his parents divorced and Joey went to live with his mother. Even though he lived with his mother, he wasn’t very far from his dad. His parents maintained a good relationship and didn’t have a problem sharing Joey’s life. He would spend the weeks with his mom and go to see his dad on the weekends.
Joey was also very focused in everything he did in life. He graduated from Liberty High School in 2003 with a 3.8 GPA. School came relatively easy for Joey. His dad would continually ask him “where is your homework” and “any homework tonight”. The answer was always… “nope”. Like almost any parent, Kevin was concerned. The explanation was that school was pretty easy and he would always get his homework done in class. He was a smart kid, took tests well and made the most of his time.
He was a pensive, thoughtful person – extremely thoughtful. It wasn’t uncommon for Joey to place the needs of others above his own needs. He would often make himself uncomfortable just to make others more so. He was slow to express his opinion and quick to think before opening his mouth.
In August 2003, Joey came home and told his father that he wanted to join the Army. His dad shrugged him off with a simple, “sure you do.” Joey was serious. He wanted to get some military experience and then go on to bigger and better things. He had the smarts and willpower to do anything he set his mind to. He was always looking for a challenge.
On September 24, 2005, Joey and his girlfriend Cori went to a Justice of the Peace in Killeen and exchanged vows. Joey didn’t immediately tell his father. His dad was scheduled to get married that week and Joey didn’t want the news of his wedding to overshadow his father’s wedding. Three weeks later, Joey deployed to Iraq.
Another person that Joey liked to spend time with was his new best friend, SPC Shanon Greer. Shanon returned from Korea shortly after Joey did. In Texas, Joey served as Shanon’s gunner and the two would hang out on the weekends. Shanon had a little three year old daughter named Vanissa that Joey loved to play with.
“Joey loved movies. His nickname was ‘Blockbuster’ because he had a bunch of movies that he’d buy online and have shipped to us,” reflected Shanon. “One of his favorite movies was ‘Wedding Crashers'”. But, those aren’t the things for which Joey’s friends remember him. Joey always had a Bible with him wherever he went. As often as he could, Joey would organize Bible studies and invited others to join in with him. He was a very faithful person to his God and his religion.
Joey was killed when his convoy came under enemy fire in Baghdad. Military personnel described the attack as “a very well-organized ambush” on the convoy. Joey Graves was 21 years old.