Joe B Ojeda

Specialist Four
Army of the United States
26 May 1947 - 09 December 1969
Corpus Christi, Texas
Panel 15W Line 043



Bronze Star (2), Purple Heart (2), Army Commendation Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign
Joe Ojeda

Photo courtesy of his fianc� Barbara Hill
If you knew Joe, please contact her at

The database page for Joe B Ojeda

03 Aug 2001

Joe and I met on a blind date in Hawaii when I was on vacation and he was on R&R. My roommate had met a young serviceman from Illinois and he asked her out that evening. She said she'd only go if he had a friend for her friend. When I first saw Joe I fell in love with him. Little did I know that it was love at first sight for him too. We spent the following day exploring Honolulu and eventually wound up at the Honolulu Zoo where he proposed at 2:10 in the afternoon (yes, I looked at my watch - I wanted to remember every detail). We spent the rest of his R&R together, falling deeper in love. We never talked about the war, just the future and our hopes and dreams. I have never regretted my decision. I knew he was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. Sometimes you just know when the right person comes into your life. Unfortunately, servicemen could not marry without permission due to the fact that so many met young women who wanted to get married to get into the States. I wasn't one of them.

Joe was born in Matehuala, Mexico. (I think the spelling is wrong but it's phonetically correct). He was orphaned by the age of 4 and with a younger brother he was raised in a Catholic Church-run orphanage in Mexico. His older sister and brother had come to the US (each on their own) to Corpus Christi. They raised families and were eventually able to save enough money to bring the two younger brothers to the US. Joe graduated from W B Ray High School in Corpus Christi, then got drafted.

We wanted to settle in Michigan, on the shores of Lake Michigan, when his tour was over and we could raise our family there.

When we were together he didn't talk about Viet Nam until the last evening. He did send me some pictures of him while on duty there. They are in a photo album with pictures from his childhood which his sister gave me. I know that he had a Purple Heart when we met (found that out later after he died) and, of course, received a Purple Heart for his mortal injuries, plus a Bronze Star with Oak Leaf cluster. The picture you see was taken just hours after he became an American citizen. He was so proud. I still have the American flag they gave all the new citizens and the yellow plastic lei which they received in honor of Aloha Week. They are with the letters which he wrote to me, including one he wrote just before his last mission.

Joe was buried on a warm, sunny December day with full military honors. He rests in Rose Hill Memorial Park in Corpus Christi.

Barbara Hill

You saw me mourning for you and you touched my hand. I knew you loved me.
Forever and always loved,

04 Dec 2001

Deep in my heart a memory is kept
To love, to cherish, never to forget.
Remembered today, tomorrow and always.

Love, Barbara

24 May 2002

Happy Birthday Joe.
Sunday would have been your 55th birthday.
I wish we had been able to grow old together.

Your memory is my keepsake with which I'll never part
God has you in his keeping, I have you in my heart.
Remembered always.
Love Barbara xoxo

24 Oct 2002

May the winds of love blow softly and whisper so you'll hear,
I will always love and miss you and wish that you were here.

Remembering October 24, 1969,
the day you became a proud new U.S. citizen in Honolulu, HI.

Lovingly remembered always,
Barbara xoxo

09 Dec 2002

Dear Joe -
Another year has passed and I miss you. I remember the day I met you. The day God made you mine. I remember the day I lost you, and will to the end of time. You are loved with a love beyond all telling. You are missed with a grief beyond all tears. You live with me in memory every day. How could I ever forget you when everything I do is something that reminds me of the time I spent with you.

Forever in my heart, loved always, Barbara

02 May 2003

Remembering a Wonderful Man

Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for awhile and leave footprints on our hearts. And we are never, ever the same. It still seems like yesterday when you left me. The footprints are still there even after all these years. Thank you for coming into my life. I miss you every day.

Love, Barbara

26 May 2003

Joe, today would have been your 56th birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! And it's also Memorial Day. I will visit you in spirit at the Memorial today.

I think of you today with love, but that is nothing new. My thoughts were with you yesterday and the day before that too. Remembering you comes easy, I do it every day. Missing you is the heartache that never goes away.

Although I cannot hold you, you will be forever held deep within my heart. Although I cannot see you with my eyes, I will picture you always in my mind and what was, and what could have been. Know that you are loved and that you made a special place within my life and I will cherish you always.

As a song goes: "The road is long with many a winding turn". It has made the trip through life easier knowing that you are always at my side.

You have gone first and I remain. But there is something I want you to do. Walk slowly down that long lonely road for someday I'll follow you. I want to know each step you take so that I may walk the same. For when I travel down that long and lonely road, you'll hear me call your name.

Remembering you today, on your birthday, and always ... a very special man, the man of my life.

Love always and forever, Barbara

24 Oct 2003

34 years ago today you became a proud new U.S. citizen.

34 years ago tomorrow we stood at Fort DeRussy waiting for the bus to take you to the airport for the flight back to Vietnam. I remember that day as if it was yesterday. You sat so straight in your seat staring out the front window. You never looked back. If you had we would have seen tears in the other's eyes. I felt so lonely when the bus pulled away and then was no longer in sight.

I miss you today as much as I did then. You're just a "breath away".

Love always and forever, Barbara

11 Nov 2003

Quietly remembered this Veteran's Day 2003.
My hero.
Love, Barbara

May 26, 1947 to December 9, 1969

To my darling Joe:

If I was granted but one wish, I wouldn't ask for a mansion, an expensive car, or wealth. I would ask for one more day with you. To walk along the beach hand-in-hand, to have one more dance, and to tell you how much I love you.

I can't believe it's been 34 years. It seems like yesterday. Days go by but the emptiness remains. I miss you so much.

Love always and forever, Barbara xxoo

24 Dec 2003

Another Christmas without you. The last time we were together I asked you what you wanted most for Christmas. You replied "You" and we both laughed. Then you asked for a small tree with twinkling white lights. Now whenever I see a tree with twinkling white lights it brings back memories. Wonderful memories. I miss you.

Love always and forever, Barbara

30 Dec 2003

As another year ends and another begins, I miss you so much.

Love always and forever, Barbara

15 Feb 2004

I miss you so much, Joe. I miss your smile and your gentle ways. I miss hearing your laughter but then again sometimes in the quiet of the night I hear your gentle voice whispering my name. I visited your grave this week. The emptiness I felt was overwhelming. Even after all these years, the tears still flow. Love always and forever. Barbara xoxo

26 May 2004

This comes with all my love for you on your birthday. Another birthday celebrated without you. It seems like an eternity since I heard your voice or saw your face. Today brings a world of loving thanks for our wonderful time together and a wish that you were here with me today. I miss you so very much.

Happy 57th birthday Joe. Love you always and forever. Barbara

PS. Geminis aren't supposed to get along well together. We proved them wrong!

30 Jul 2004

Closing my eyes and taking the time, I can hear your voice and feel your hand in mine. And deep in my heart I know that the only thing that mattered came true, for in this life I was loved by you. Remembered always with love, Barbara xoxoxo

17 Sep 2004

Joe, I feel your presence as you walk beside me every day, always looking after me, protecting me, loving me. When I'm sad, I feel your "hug" and when I'm happy I sense you laughing beside me. Wish you were here. I miss you so much. Love always and forever, Barbara

25 Oct 2004

35 years ago today, October 25th, we said goodbye at the bus before you returned to the airport for your flight back to Vietnam. You held me tight and promised to come home. How I wish you could hold me again. Loved you then, love you now, and will love you forever and a day. Barbara XOXO

09 Dec 2004

May 26, 1947 to December 9, 1969

35 years ago today my mother told me that your sister had sent me a telegram to say that you had been "killed in action". My heart shattered in a thousand pieces. Time does not heal the pain. I miss you so much.

The "soldier" at the funeral told me "I brought Joe home. He loved you very much." At the cemetary he told me "Joe is at peace now. He knows you will be all right." Thank you for sending the angel.

Joe, I held you close in my heart today, it made me feel complete. You may have died but you are not gone, you will always be part of me. 'Til we are together again. Loving you always and forever, Barbara.

28 Dec 2004

As one year ends and another is about to begin, my thoughts drift back to that time so long ago when we were young and so much in love. We had so many plans for the future. We could hardly wait for 1970 for soon you would be home. I waited for your call. But, alas, it was not meant to be. As much as I needed you here with me, God needed you more. I miss you so much but I know you walk beside me every day. Just a breath away. Forever loved, Barbara.

8 Feb 2005
Valentine's Day 2005

You are not just a memory or a part of the past, you're mine to remember as long as life lasts.

Loving you forever, Barbara

6 May 2005

For Joe on his birthday, May 26th

From the moment I saw you, I wanted to meet you.
From the moment I met you, I wanted to know you.
From the moment I knew you, I was in love with you.
From the moment I loved you, I wanted to share my life with you.

And from that moment to this moment, and for all the moments to come, Joe, I will love you with all my heart.

Love always and forever, Barbara

15 Oct 2005

The time goes by so quickly. But the pain never goes away. My sorrow is still great but so are the memories and my love for you. You're not here to share in all that has happened since you left but I know in my heart you are always near. Joe, I feel your presence as you walk beside me. Not a day goes by that you are not in my thoughts. Every day in some small way there are memories of you. The sun comes up each day and sets each night but the loneliness is always there. And though the years have been many they will always be filled with my love for you. Rest in peace, my love, for one day God will take me by the hand and lead me straight to you. With all my love now and forever, Barbara.

09 Dec 2005

Joe, I can shed tears that you are gone.
Or I can smile because you lived.
I can close my eyes and pray that you�ll come back.
Or I can open my eyes and see all you have left.
My heart can be empty because I can�t see you.
Or it can be full of the love we shared.
I can turn my back on tomorrow and live in the past.
Or I can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
I can remember you and only that you�re gone.
Or I can cherish your memory and let it live on.
I can cry and close my mind, be empty and turn my back.
Or I can do what you�d want; smile, open my eyes, and go on.

My love always,

14 Feb 2006


The time goes by so quickly. But the pain never goes away. My sorrow is still great but so are the memories and my love for you. You�re not here to share in all that has happened since you left but I know in my heart you are always near. I feel your presence as you walk beside me. Not a day goes by that you are not in my thoughts. Every day in some small way I have memories of you. And though the years have been many, they have always been filled with my love for you. Rest in peace, Joe, for one day God will take me by the hand and lead me straight to you. Love always and forever, Barbara

Happy birthday Joe.

Forever missed.
Forever loved.
Forever young.

Always in my heart. Barbara xoxo
May 26, 2006

23 Oct 2006

October 25th. It has been a lifetime since you left. I miss you beyond belief but I know you are still with me. I find you in the letters you wrote. I find you in the photographs of our time in Hawaii, in songs we danced to, and in the collective memory of your family. But mostly I find you in my heart. A presence that is subtle, elusive, intangible and yet, just as close as faith will allow us to get. When you are with me, my heart has the capacity to love as deeply as I grieve and my mind finds a way to remember the wonderful time we had together. There are still no answers when I ask why you had to die, just peace in knowing you continue to touch my life. I miss you so much. I love you now and will forever, Barbara.

December 9, 2006

Thirty-seven years ago today I lost you, the love of my life. I remember meeting you for the first time all those years ago. I knew then that I wanted to be with you forever. Thank you for all the wonderful memories. I wish we could do it all over again. You will always be my "prince". Love always and forever, Barbara

23 Dec 2006

Joe, remembering you in special ways this Christmas season. I miss you so much. Love always and forever. Love, Barbara

February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day, Joe. The love is felt even when the being is gone. Love is the only thing that is eternal, and Joe you are eternally loved. My memories are a constant reminder of how much I loved you, and how much you loved me. I will always miss you and love you. Memories of you I will pass on to those you loved and touched, carrying you through the ages. Eternally mine, for my heart is eternally yours. With love, always and forever.


02 Jul 2007

My dearest love, you are always on
my mind and forever in my heart.

With eternal love, Barbara

18 Oct 2007

The world has had some changes since you have been gone, Joe, but one thing that will never change is the love I still hold in my heart for you. I will always miss you and wonder if this sadness I feel will ever go away. I find myself living in two worlds, the past and the present. In the past we were together and happy. I smile because you are with me and you are the most important part of everything I do. In the present, Joe, I am always looking for you and I am lonely because you are no longer here. You are a living presence each and every day. I have special memories of our time together, and these memories will never die. The sound of your voice and laughter are as clear in my mind today as they were when you were here. Your quiet strength and warm tenderness lives quietly inside of me to warm all my days as each comes along. I am always conscious of feeling close to you, and your presence never leaves me. I am beginning to learn that your life was a loving gift to me, and although you are far away, my love goes out to you every day, and in my heart you are living still. It's our love that makes my memories too precious to forget, and makes my sorrow easier to bear. I will always love you, Joe. Your loving fiance, forever, Barbara

09 Dec 2007

Thirty-eight years ago you left. While the deep sorrow remains, wonderful memories sustain me always. As I loved you, so I miss you. In my memory you are near, loved, remembered, longed for always. Bringing many a silent tear. I have looked for answers. I tried to understand but no one could tell me why. I couldn't comprehend. Someone once asked me "So� are you over it yet?". No harm was meant. Nor was it meant to be mean. Folks just doesn't understand. There is no getting over it. At least for me there's not. I can't erase those images of our time together. Memories of you are forever in my heart. Life does go on. I will persevere. I won't forget. And I miss you, more than ever, my darling Joe. Today, I don't look for answers. I can't heal a mortal wound. It just takes time to find peace. It takes time to be with you again. Barbara

From his fiance,
Barbara Hill

Award of the Bronze Star Medal for Heroism

Awarded: The Bronze Star Medal.
Date of action: 9 December 1969
The following was awarded posthumously:

For heroism in connection with military operations against a hostile force: Specialist Four Ojeda distinguished himself by heroic actions on 9 December 1969, while serving with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry in the Republic of Vietnam. While on a reconnissance operation, elements of Headquarters Company came into a heavily booby trapped area. Immediately, Specialist Ojeda assumed the point position and began to lead his men through the area. As he was moving through the area, Specialist Ojeda was fatally wounded when he tripped a well concealed booby trap. His valorous actions contributed immeasurably to the success of the mission. Specialist Ojeda's bravery and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the mility service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, the 25th Infantry Division, and the United States Army.


By Direction of the President

The Bronze Star Medal

is presented posthumously to

Specialist Four Joe B. Ojeda

For distinguishing himself in outstanding meritorious service in connection with ground operations against a hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam during the period

25 February 1969 to 9 December 1969

Through his untiring efforts and professional ability, he consistently obtained outstanding results. He was quick to grasp the implications of new problems with which he was faced as a result of the ever changing situations inherent in a counterinsurgency operation and to find ways and means to solve those problems. The energetic application of his extensive knowledge has materially contibuted to the efforts of the U.S. mission to the Republic of Vietnam to assist that country in ridding itself of the communist threat to its freedom. His initiative, zeal, sound judgement and devotion to duty have been in the highest tradition of the U.S. Army and reflects great credit on himself, his unit, and the Military Service.

Award of the Army Commendation Medal for Heroism

Awarded: Army Commendation with "V" Device

Date of action: 10 July 1969

Reason: For heroism in connection with military operations against a hostile force: Private First Class Ojeda distinguished himself by heroic actions on 10 July 1969, while serving as a radio-telephone operator with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry in the Republic of Vietnam. While on an ambush patrol, elements of the 5th Infantry came in contact with a squad sized enemy force. Immediately, Private Ojeda monitored his radio and established communications with his Commanding Officer. As the battle progressed, Private Ojeda, with complete disregard for his own safety, exposed himself to the hail of fire as he placed devastating fire on the hostile positions. His valorous actions contributed immeasurably to the success of the mission and the defeat of the enemy forces. Private Ojeda's bravery, aggressiveness, and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, the 25th Infantry Division, and the United States Army.

Prior to his death, Joe had been awarded the Army Commendation Medal for heroism, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with one bronze service star, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Sharpshooter Badge with track weapon bar, and the Marksman Badge with rifle, machine gun, automatic rifle, and pistol bars. They were presented to Joe's brother in 1970 by a representative of the Fourth United States Army, Fort Sam Houston, TX.

SP4 Joe Ojeda is remembered by his comrades from the
5th Infantry Regiment (Mech)

17 Jan 2003


I did not know Joe - and just happened upon this page. But your love for him and your keeping it alive is worthy of any words and thoughts I can send you.

I hope you have found happiness in your life. You seem like the type of woman who would have made Joe very proud and honored to have called his wife.

Your story reminds me of a song sung by Sting:

"The Secret Marriage"

No earthly church has ever blessed our union
No state has ever granted us permission
No family bond has ever made us two
No company has ever earned commission

No debt was paid no dowry to be gained
No treaty over border land or power
No semblance of the world outside remained
To stain the beauty of this nuptial hour

The secret marriage vow is never spoken
The secret marriage never can be broken

No flowers on the alter
No white veil in your hair
No maiden dress to alter
No bible oath to swear

The secret marriage vow is never spoken
The secret marriage never can be broken.
© Words by Sting, music by Hanns Eisler

Good luck to you ... and may your life always be filled with love and happiness.

From M. K. Harrison
E-mail address is not available.

01 Jun 2003

Dear Joe,

What an honor and a pleasure it would have been for me to have known you. Now all I know about you is what I have read in this Memorial to you.

We could have been cousins or related, no doubt, for I am an Ojeda from Austin, Texas. My Grandfather came to small surrounding towns near Austin. He traveled with three brothers and a sister fron San Luis Potosi, Mexico, in the middle 1800's. His name was Mucio Ojeda. My father's name was Cecilio C. Ojeda and I am Nelda Ojeda Savoy. There is much I could tell you about the Ojeda family, they are all over the US and the world over. I know, I met many of them in my travels. I also have relatives in Corpus Christi. I go there every so often.

The love that you had for such a short time with Barbara is eternal. I have read all her letters to you and you were and are Loved. You are her Hero and now I will claim you as mine. Many times that I went to The Wall in DC, I cried. I placed flowers and flags not knowing you were there, but blood calls and they were for you. I lived in DC for nearly 30 years.

You have earned your crown in Glory, you were so brave, you gave your life to keep us safe. Now you have a special place in my heart.

Que Dios te tenga en su Santa Gloria.

Tu familia,

Nelda Ojeda Savoy
Austin, Texas 78758
25 Feb 2004

God bless you and yours.

From a friend,
Sgt. Gregory O. Overton
Clayton, NC 27520

1 Dec 2004

Thirty-five years have passed and yet it seems like yesterday. As your squad leader I can say that you were one of the best; a soldier who took orders without hesitation and one who always accomplished the mission. You were truly a credit to the U.S. Army, the 25th Infantry Division, and the 1st Bn (M), 5th Infantry. As a member of the 5th Inf you worked the motto of "I'LL TRY, SIR" at every opportunity and to that end we are eternally grateful. When I think of fallen comrades such as Joe I'm reminded of the quote from Shakespeare's Henry V, Act 4, Scene 3:

"We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he today that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother".

God speed, My Brother.

From his Squad Leader, R.V.N,
Jim McFarlane
25th Inf. Div.
1st Bn (Mech), 5th Inf.
C.R.I.P. Platoon
R.V.N. 69-70

9 Mar 2005

Joe, I came across your picture on The Virtual Wall... I read the memorial to you from Barbara ... She still loves you after all these years ... I did a picture composite for Barbara of you ... What I could not believe while I was reading your Memorial was that you were born on my Birthday and died on my brother's Birthday. You were really handsome, and I can see why Barbara fell in love with you at first sight. I know your family misses and loves you also ... I know right now you are now serving the Supreme Commander, and you are happier than we are right now.

Judy Green

15 Jun 2005

Joe, I never knew you in person.
But have gotten to know something about you from Barbara.
She is and always will be a friend.
I can feel her love for you in every thing she says about you.
She still loves you as much today as she did when you met.
Even more so.
She is a true Lady,and will be with you some day.

From fellow Vietnam Veteran,
Sgt. T. A. Nollmann,USMC/Ret.
'66 Vietnam '67

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 03 Aug 2001
Last updated 08/10/2009