Joseph Wax, Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (E6) was presented with a Quilt of Valor on Saturday, November 12 at the VFW.

Wax joined the Navy in 2004 and was on active duty for 13 years and has now been in the reserves for five. When he first joined the Navy, he joined as a Navy journalist, but his title has changed to Mass Communication Specialist. His training was spent in the Defense Information School at Fort Meade, Maryland where all branches sent their journalists and photographers for training.

Following his training, he spent two years at the Naval Air Station joint reserve base in Fort Worth, Texas. Wax then went to Norfolk, Virginia to serve in the Fleet Public Affairs Center Atlantic where he was deployed on the USS Enterprise (CVN 65) and the USS Mitscher (DDG 57) in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan), and Operation Iraqi Freedom moving back and forth between the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf. (To get a feel of the size of the ship, each one holds 5,500 soldiers. The entire population of Vinton, Garrison, and Luzerne would fit on one of these ships!)

In 2010 he transferred to Navy Recruiting District Michigan until 2017 where he served as the public affairs officer and as a special warfare recruiter. From 2017 until today, he is serving with Navy Talent Acquisition Group Great Lakes in Chicago as the public affairs officer and special warfare recruiter.

Wax said that his assignment includes traveling on the ships to write about and document missions on board the ship. He explained that each aircraft carrier and large deck amphibious assault ship has its own communications center. His training includes producing print communications, broadcasting on internal TV channels aboard the ship, radio, photography and using social media.

Also on hand for the presentation were his wife and children along with other family members, which included Vinton resident and great-aunt, Rita Moore. Moore helped 9-year-old granddaughter Addie Schirm design and create the quilt for Wax.

In recognition of her work, Wax presented Addie with a bouquet of flowers as well as a challenge coin. Wax was given the coin when he graduated from the Navy's recruiting school as an honor graduate of his class. Coins are given for outstanding service. Being given a challenge coin represents camaraderie or unity and they are given to honor the actions of those who receive them.

The Mission of the Quilts of Valor Foundation is to cover Service Members and Veterans touched by war with a comforting and healing quilt. The quilts are made by many hands and are intended to comfort those who have been touched by war. The quilt comes with a case so that it can travel and includes a label on the back of the quilt with the name of the one who made the quilt as well as the number of the quilt.

To date, the Quilts of Valor program has presented 326,777 quilts to veterans. To find out more about Quilts of Valor, visit their site. You can also volunteer or request a quilt for a veteran by visiting their website HERE.


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