November’s Military Hero

Joseph Olive is this month's Military Hero

VICTORIA, Texas – Joseph Olive is this month’s military hero, with a plethora of experiences while he served in the Air Force. His interest to join the military started while he was a freshman in college, and after seeing the tragic events of 9-11 unfold before his eyes, Olive knew he wanted to join the military.

“So I was in the dorm room, 9-11 occurred, there was a TV in the dorm room. A bunch of us freshmen students got together and watched it. And as everyone else was totally horrified, what we’ve seen. At that point I was like I want to join the military, I want to be a part of a response,” says Olive.

It was in 2003 when Olive joined the air force, the war in Iraq had just begun and olive wanted to be on the frontlines, choosing one of the most dangerous jobs.

“Actually I picked the most dangerous job I thought, which was explosive ordnance disposal,” says Olive.

He later worked as an imagery analyst working with various satellite technology, the MQ-1 Predator, and the RQ-4Global Hawk to name a few.

In 2006 Olive was deployed to Taji Iraq assigned to an Army explosive ordnance disposal unit, which is where Olive had many close calls.

“Yeah we were attacked constantly, throughout six months I think I did 33, 34, what we called serious incident reports whereas we were attacked by an IED, small arms fire, rockets, mortars,” says Olive.

And some even closer calls with RPGs flying right above his head.

“A guy from a distance shot an RPG which are very inaccurate for them and they aren’t trained, and it went over me and the Humvee behind me, and I dropped the camera, ran behind the Humvee. So we got in the Humvee, I was the driver, I was following the security around us and another RPG went right above my Humvee,” says Olive.

Then in 2008 Olive worked in the Defense Intelligence Agency, as a human intelligence analyst.

“Crime scene photography, evidence collection, fingerprinting, interviewing, witnesses, we were known as the CIA of Baghdad,” says Olive.

Olive credits the military to changing his life, which is where he met his wife. Once he started a family of his own, he decided to come back to the United States so he could be with his family, now working as a financial advisor here in Victoria. While he was in the Air Force, he was awarded an Air Force combat action medal and Army combat badge. He also received joint commendation and Army commendation medals.

Thank you to Joseph Olive and all military veterans out there for the sacrifices made for our freedoms as Americans.