Agent Orange Awareness Month
Paulette Joyce’s husband, Frederick Joyce, died from Agent Orange related brain cancer due to his service in Vietnam 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.”
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.
“Through a friend, I was told to connect with Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation. This connection helped me pay for college for both my children. The connection led to other military scholarship opportunities, as I strive for a low debt college experience for my children,” explained Paulette. “I often wonder if he is up their making all these connections happen. It just seems that sometimes there are too many coincidences that happen at the most opportune times.”
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 group in a police unit. Today, he attends a smaller college out of state.
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 be made are especially tough when she doesn’t have her best friend, Fred, to talk to.
“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.”
October is Agent Orange Awareness Month, which was created to bring awareness to harmful chemicals and their effects, and to also foster and perpetuate the memory and spirit for those who fought for and defended our nation.
As we enter October, we honor those who died of Agent Orange as a result of serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.