Joe Cannon

The military rescued me

Retired veteran Joe Cannon of Joppa, Alabama, remains committed to service. Cannon maintains that he owes our country a debt of gratitude, although others might say that our country owes him, and his entire family, a profound debt.

Joe Cannon

Cannon’s mother and her only sister both lost their first husbands in World War II, his uncle was a World War II fighter pilot, his father enlisted, and his grandfather was a doughboy in World War I. That legacy of service continued, and today Cannon is most proud of his sons and a grandson who answered the call of duty.

If not for his own service, Cannon believes his life would have taken a more daunting course. When Cannon was a teenager, a judge presented him with two options: jail or enlistment in the military at age 17. He went on to serve for four years on active duty in the Air Force as an aircraft mechanic, 14 years in the Air Force Reserve and then another 14 years in the Army as an equipment specialist.

“The service sent me around the world 12 times. I even found myself giving briefs to two-star generals,” Cannon said. “I learned there were bigger things than myself.

“The military is your true family, and the ones back home serve as well,” Cannon added, noting that his young wife was left home alone with two babies to care for. “Our country seems to forget our military families, especially those who come home disabled and those whose children never came home.”

Cannon wanted to remember less-fortunate veterans through his final plans, and it mattered to him to learn how and where to make the most impact. He asked veteran friends to weigh in and asked his veteran brother-in-law to research veterans organizations.

“DAV does the most with least,” Cannon said regarding his choice to graciously include DAV in his will.

National Adjutant Marc Burgess and Gift Planning team member Judie List Sweeney feel fortunate to know Cannon and honored to thank him now for his support. If you would like to include DAV in your will, please click here.