Joseph Slavensky, Jr.
The meeting of the Continental Congress in Philadelphia on November 10, 1775, created a force that would become a major part of the United States' defense. The men passed a resolution that called for two battalions of Marines to be raised, which established the Continental Marines and marked the official birth of the United States Marine Corps. After the Revolutionary War, the Marine Corps was re-established on July 11, 1798. From that moment on, the Marines have become an indispensable participant in every conflict the United States has faced, both major and minor. Many Marines gave their lives to defend their country in all parts of the world. One such man was Joseph Slavensky, Jr.
In October 17, 1949 in Morgantown, West Virginia, Julia and Joseph Slavensky gave birth to son Joseph Slavensky, Jr. Joseph grew up in Morgantown, Monongalia County, with his two siblings, Patty and Stanley Joe. He may have only had two siblings, but he was surrounded by many other family members. Joseph had seven aunts and six uncles that were always apart of his life. He attended Wiles Hill Elementary School and Morgantown Junior and Senior high schools. His family also attended St. Mary's Catholic Church, where Joseph was a member.
After graduating from Morgantown High School in 1967, Joseph became a member of the United States Marine Corps. His tour of duty in Vietnam began on April 27, 1969; he was only 19 years old. During his time in the Marine Corps, Joseph earned the rank of Lance Corporal. He was a member of the Headquarters and Service Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Marine, 1st Marine Division.
On October 8, 1969, the Marine Corps sent Joseph on a routine supply run in Quang Nam Province, Republic of Vietnam. The vehicle he was a passenger in detonated a hostile mine, which caused the vehicle to crash. Lance Corporal Slavensky died of missile wounds received when the vehicle set off the mine. The government sent the news of Joseph's death to 108 1/2 Hoffman Street, where his mother and brother lived. Joseph's father, Joseph Sr., had died prior to the tragic news. He was also survived by his sister Mrs. Patty Korvin of Morgantown. The family held funeral services on October 20, 1969 at the St. Mary's Catholic Church.
West Virginia Archives and History welcomes any additional information that can be provided about these veterans, including photographs, family names, letters and other relevant personal history. For more information contact Constance Baston at (304) 558-0230.
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