Joseph S Viola Banner


Hackensack High School
Yearbook Photo


On December 7, 2011 South Hackensack VFW hosted a Post Christmas party held at a restaurant in Lodi, to which I was invited. I sat next to Joseph Viola, a 1947 Hackensack High School graduate.  Joe has known my parents since before they were married. 

I had asked about his service many years before when I was younger and his response was “Where I was you don’t want to know about.”  That was twenty years earlier, though when I was in my 30’s, so I thought I would ask again some 20 years later at the age of 56. 

          I told him to just tell me basic information so we could make a web page on him and Joe gave me this general information:

          Joseph S. Viola told me he was drafted into the Army in 1951.
He became what he called a Cannoneer with the 937th Field Artillery. 
A Cannoneer, according to Joe, is the man who loads the cannon. Later, on
the crew, he became the man who fired the cannon or artillery piece. Joe served two years and was honorably discharged. To Joe, I was always my dad’s son. I graduated in 1973, with his son Rich, and wrestled around the time of his younger son, Jay, who wrestled a few years behind me.
Joe was going to leave any explanation of his experience left unsaid
because I would always be too young and as he had told me 20 years
before, “Where I was you don’t want to know about.” 

It is important that we know what happened, although
he does not have to be the one to tell me.

Let us never forget their sacrifice.
Written by:
Bob Meli
August 11, 2013



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Background image of Field Artillery During The Korean War obtained from: