Joel House grew up in the eastern Penobscot County town of Lee, Maine. He graduated from Lee Academy in 2003, where he had played soccer, baseball, and basketball. He also enjoyed playing the guitar, fishing, swimming, hunting and other outdoor activities.
Like many young people, Joel learned best by doing and experiencing. The academics of school were a challenge best supported by the hands-on learning approaches of summer camp enrichment programs. He also spent many summers as an exchange student host brother and went to Guadalajara, Mexico as an exchange student. It was his personal friendship with young people from Europe, Latin America, and Asia that inspired him to do his part to make the world a safer place for young people and their families to live.
Joel joined the Army shortly after graduation from high school because he wanted to do his part to protect his family and friends against the brutal terrorist attacks on U.S. and European soil. Joel, one of five generations of soldiers in his family who served their country in the military, believed that freedom isn’t free. In addition to serving his country, Joel was a fine, Christian young man striving to find his mission to his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Joel A. House, Sergeant, United States Army, died June 23, 2007 in Taji, Iraq, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. He was 22. He left behind his father, mother, an older brother and older sister as well as other relatives and friends.