Paulette Joyce’s husband, Frederick Joyce, died from Agent Orange related brain cancer due to his service in Vietnam so many years ago. On the day the doctors told Fred that the brain cancer couldn’t be stopped, his deepest concerns were for his family that he was leaving behind. Fred rose to the rank of LTC and was able to touch so many soldiers in his 37 years of service. One general, who Fred worked for, called him “a soldier of integrity.”
Previously to falling ill, Fredrick wrote a novel about his experience in Vietnam. It was his dream to be a published author. In January of 2014, Paulette published his book in tribute to his life and service to our country. It is entitled “When I Go to Vietnam” by Frederick Joyce. The book’s proceeds go to an annual scholarship in his name.
Wonderful family memories were made when Fred was healthy. As a family, they would go to Vermont every year for vacation. Before Fred’s death, they would celebrate Veterans Day by going to the Veteran’s Ceremony in their town. Now, Paulette still attends the Veteran’s Ceremony, but then goes to Fred’s grave and removes the American Flag that has been in place since Patriots Day.
It has been difficult for Paulette to go through her children’s life milestones alone, such as graduation from high school and college. Important decisions that need to made are especially tough when she doesn’t have her best friend, her husband to talk to.
The year Frederick passed away, their daughter Megan was entering her freshman year of college and their son, Sean, wasn’t far behind. It was a traumatic year for Paulette, not having discussed college with her husband. The goal of education gave their two children a positive direction and Children of Fallen Patriots supported that goal.
“I want to extend our deepest thanks to each and every one who made this scholarship (Children of Fallen Patriots) happen not only for me, but for so many families,” stated Paulette.” Losing a husband and dad has been such a traumatic event that no one should have to face.”
Megan followed her father’s footsteps and graduated from Fred’s alma mater where she majored in History, like he did. Sean wanted to join the military but decided to serve in another way, with the goal of becoming a state trooper or working with a K-9 unit in a police unit. Today, he attends a smaller college out of state.