Living Memorial For Joe Fankhauser

Submitter’s Name: Stevens Joy
The Service Member’s Name: Joe Fankhauser
Branch of Service: Marine Corps
Rank: Staff Sergeant
Military Job: Explosive Ordnance Disposal
Hometown for Service Member: Mason, Texas

Staff Sergeant Joseph (Joe) Fankhauser
August 27, 1981 to April 22, 2012

This story is about a Marine Mom – who says, “The few, the proud, the moms!” Mary Wyscarver, of Temple, Texas is the mother of Marine Staff Sergeant Joseph (Joe) Fankhauser, who died in Helmand Province, Afghanistan combat. Since his death in 2012, she has given away more than 11,000 Bibles, personally inscribed with a Bible verse. Each of the Bibles marks one day in her son’s life. Giving the Bibles away, Mary keeps her son’s memory alive and she also keeps his memory alive with photos, quilts, car stickers. The photo is of Colonel (Retired) James Stryker, Chair of the Texas War Memorial, giving Mary the “Yellow Rose of Texas,” and conveying his condolences and gratitude for her sacrifice, as well as Joe’s ultimate sacrifice. 

Mary says, “I counted the days that he was alive, 11,197, including leap year days, and I vowed to give that many Bibles away in his memory.” She has purchased hundreds of bibles at a time, and takes the time to add a handwritten inscription to each of them before giving them away. She says, “Every time I write it, it reminds me to thank God for the 30 plus years that I had him.”

Most of her Bibles went to her local church but she has also sent some to troops overseas, and carries some with her to give out when the opportunity presents itself. I was honored to be given two of Joe’s Bibles – one to keep and one to put inside the “Price of Liberty” Monument at the Texas Capitol.

When we last spoke, Mary said she had given the 11,197 bibles away and was considering counting Joe’s days in the Marine Corps, and staring again. What a great tribute to her son, US Marine Staff Sergeant Joe Fankhauser – and God. Semper Fi, Mom, Always Faithful.

View KWTX News Story Here