AXIS, AL, US
U.S. Marine Corps
CPL, 2D CEB, (1ST CEB, I MEF FWD), 2D MAR DIV, CAMP LEJEUNE, NC
01/17/2011, HELMAND PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN
Marine Corporal Joseph C. Whitehead died January 17, 2011 in Helmand province, Afghanistan, while conducting combat operations assigned to 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. He and his unit supported Operation Enduring Freedom. He had been in Afghanistan only five weeks.
Twenty-two year old Joe Whitehead was from Axis, Alabama. He was well known for his hardworking attitude and loyalty. Early on, well before he became a Marine, his manner and reputation displayed the mettle of a Marine. He joined the Marines in 20007 after high school. He is remembered for being tough as nails; but remaining in a jovial mood during hard work on whatever was at hand requiring his attention.
As a Satsuma High School football player, his persistence and hard work in the weight room was noticed by all. The hard work never seemed to be much of a strain for Joe, nor was his work on the football field where he was primarily a defensive lineman, but easily played other positions and offense as needed. He is fondly remembered as being a delight to coach and it was therefore no surprise to many that he had become an outstanding Marine.
As a Marine he never backed down from hard work, yet the ever present playfulness of his personality made people want to be around him. According to family, Joe Whitehead loved four things more than anything: Food. Family. Children…. And food. He was also a die-hard University of Alabama fan who also wound up in some funny situations such as the time he took his grandfather’s boat out for a spin — and ended up having to swim back to shore without it when something went wrong.
He leaves behind his mother, fathers, a sister and two brothers.