United States Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Lucia, III grew up in Lutcher, LA. He graduated from Tulane University in 1991 and commissioned as an officer in the Marine Corps shortly after.
Lt. Col. Lucia began his career as an AH-1W Cobra pilot, then transitioned to become an FA/18 Hornet pilot. He served at duty stations in Texas, Florida, California, North Carolina, and South Carolina, and was deployed multiple times, including serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom with VMFA (AW) 533 Squadron.
Joseph died on November 20, 2010, from complications of multiple myeloma. For his service he received numerous awards, including: the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (3), the Air Medal strike Flight (6), the Combat Action Ribbon, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (4), Kosovo Campaign Medal (3), Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War in Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, a Humanitarian Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal (2), and a NATO medal for service in Kosovo.