WARSAW — Joseph E. “Joe” Banks III has been honored as January’s Kosciusko County Veteran of the Month.
At Tuesday, Jan. 19’s Kosciusko County Commissioners’ meeting in the justice center, he was given a plaque by Veteran Affairs Officer Rich Maron.
Maron also read a biography on Banks, who served in the U.S. Navy, Naval Reserve and Indiana Air National Guard.
Banks is from Cleveland, Ohio, originally. His parents are Joseph and Anna Banks, and he was born on June 7, 1939. He had a brother, Ernest, who passed away at age 58.
He is a graduate of John Adams High School in Cleveland and also completed an electronics program at DeVry Tech in Chicago, Ill.
Banks joined the Navy in 1957 and went to the U.S. Naval Training Center at Great Lakes for boot camp and electronics training. He was stationed on three ships afterward: the U.S.S. Northampton, U.S.S. Little Rock and U.S.S. Boston.
He serviced the radar on the ships, which were intended to protect the East Coast.
Banks was honorably discharged in 1962. He also married Constance Banks that year. The couple has three children: two boys and one girl.
Banks returned to military service by joining the Naval Reserve in Cleveland in 1964. He trained recruits on using electronics for six years until being honorably discharged.
Banks then got his Bachelor of Arts from Cleveland State University, having studied political science and basic business. He worked for White Motor Corp. until he saw they were headed toward bankruptcy.
He then began working at Zimmer in 1980, which brought the family to Warsaw. Banks continued his military service by joining the Air National Guard’s 122nd Fighter Wing based out of Fort Wayne in 1982.
He achieved the rank of master sergeant and was in charge of safety, making sure the Fighter Wing complied with Air Force Occupational Safety and Health regulations. He retired in 1996, with more than 20 years of military service.