- 21 years old
- Date of birth: Dec 28, 1984
- Date of passing: Jul 25, 2006
|Let the memory of Joseph be with us forever|
Discovery Bay native Joseph A. Graves, 21, died in Baghdad on Tuesday when his convoy was ambushed, military officials said.
Spc. Graves' father, Kevin Graves of Discovery Bay, said the Liberty High School graduate was the only American soldier killed in the incident.
"He was an only child, and an only grandchild," Kevin Graves said from inside his Cutter Loop home.
On Wednesday morning, the elder Graves drove to a small town near Grass Valley to tell his parents about Joseph.
"I didn't want them hearing about it some other way, and I didn't want to tell them on the phone."
He added: "I don't think it has really hit us yet."
The younger Graves had been athletic and good at sports, and was so involved in the Delta Community Presbyterian Church that he often talked to the congregants via letters and e-mail while in Iraq.
Pastor Larry Porter said he had even asked the church to mail him Bible study materials while overseas.
Graves joined the Army at the age of 17, and served a year-long tour in Korea before shipping out to Iraq in November. His dad said he wanted to go into law enforcement after his military tours, and eventually, wanted to join the FBI.
"He had very specific goals and had everything mapped out," Kevin Graves said. "He knew what he wanted to do with his life and never stepped off that path. He was proud to be serving in Iraq."
Graves was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, and was scheduled to be back in the U.S. in three months. He leaves behind his father, grandparents, and his wife, Cori, who is also a Discovery Bay native but now lives in Texas.
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