Joseph (Joe) P. Tidwell, Jr. is the MOPH National Homeless Veterans’ Coordinator and is a Life Member of Chapter 0790 in Scottsdale Arizona. He Joined MOPH in 2010 and has been a Chapter Trustee, Department Inspector and National Aide de Camp.
As the child of a career Navy father he traveled the world and joined the Seabee’s as a teenager at the age of 17, starting his military career in the reserves. After a year of college he decided to join the “active” military and enlisted in the US Army, much to his father’s chagrin. Shortly thereafter he was selected and accepted to Officer’s Candidate School. He attended school at Ft. Belvoir Virginia and selected Corp of Engineer’s as his branch in 1966.
Joe’s first assignment he was sent to Ft. Campbell Kentucky to help form the newly activated 591st Light Equipment Company. Ten months later, during the early part of l967 the company was deployed to Vietnam. Lt. Tidwell was selected to the advance team. About 30 days after arriving he was reassigned to B Co 27th Engineers. During a reconnaissance mission to check out damage to Highway 1 during the TET Offensive, the Huey that he was flying in, along with his 1st Sargent and two other members of his company, took enemy fire and was severely damaged. Due to the superb flying skills of the pilots the aircraft limped back to the base, where Lt. Tidwell and the Sargent evacuated the other two men with them who had been seriously wounded during the attack not thinking that they too had been hurt. LT. Tidwell took severe chaparral wounds to the entire back of his body from head to mid- calf of his legs. Joe was awarded the Purple Heart for the wounds he received in 1968. He has also received the Army Meritorious Service Medal, 2 Army Commendation Medals and Army Achievement Medal in addition to his Purple Heart.
Joe was in the US Army for over 24 years, serving as Commander, Director of Operations, Planning and Training, Manager, Logistics and Engineering Operations and Director, Aviation and Industrial Safety. He has presented and published 75 technical books and papers for the Army that were implemented worldwide, some effecting damage savings in excess of a million dollars each.
Along the way Joe earned his AS degree, Bachelor’s degree, MBA, and PHD(abd) and worked with the McDonnell Douglas Corporation, Boeing Corporation, also teaching at the Jr High, High School and College level after retiring from the service.
Joe has spent most of his retirement working with the VA, volunteering with the Homeless Programs, and the MOPH. He is married and the proud father of 3 sons and 1 son-in-law who have all seen service from Desert Storm, Afghanistan, and Iraq.