Joe Mandese’s Longest Battle

Joe Mandese in Italy with four fellow P.G. 59 escapees: at rear, left to right, are Peter Calvagno, Edmond Petrelli, and Mandese; in front, left to right, are Tony Spicola and Phil Vacca

Last week Bobby Canon notified me that an article about his grandfather, P.G. 59 POW Joe Mandese, appeared recently in AL&T magazine, a publication of the U. S. Army’s Acquisition Support Center.

Read “The Longest Battle” online.

For the article, Bobby’s sister, Kelly Tisch, was interviewed by staff writer Cheryl Marino.

Kelly explained how her grandfather’s military service inspired her to pursue a civilian career in the Army. She shared how traumatic memories of war and imprisonment haunted Joe throughout his life. “For some people,” the article explains, “PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] symptoms may start later on, or they may come and go over time.” For Joe they were an ever-present burden.

Through her close relationship with her grandfather, Kelly saw first-hand the importance of the Army providing quality, accessible mental health resources to veterans.

“My grandfather [and his sacrifice] is a reminder that there is nothing more important than keeping our Soldiers equipped and safe,” Kelley said. “Professionally, I want to continue to learn from others and be a change agent in any way I can.”

A section of the article defines PTSD, lists common symptoms of the disorder, and describes how veterans with PTSD can get help.

For examples of how other former Camp 59 POWs struggled to confront and share their troublesome war memories, read “To Talk or Not to Talk.”

Read more about Joe Mandese on this site: “Joe Mandese—The Burden of Remembrance”; “A Belated Bronze Star for Joe Mandese.”

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