Phillip Joslen was born May 6, 1941, the first baby Dr. W. T. McNew delivered in Carthage and the only child of Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Joslen. He attended Eugene Field grade school and was a 1959 graduate of Carthage High School. He is believed to be the first Carthage casualty of the Viet Nam War.
He was a well rounded boy, very outgoing, a ball player in Little League, active in ROTC in high school and went to work as soon as he could.
His first job was carrying out groceries for Rinehart’s Grocery and then for A & P. He was a hard worker and was promoted to produce manager at the Lexington, Mo. Store. Miss Ann Anson caught his eye and they became engaged, but decided to wait until the Viet Nam war had ended before marrying.
He was a patriotic young man and in 1966 he enlisted in the U. S. Army after refusing many people, including his employer, who offered to write letters to exempt him from military service, as he was an only child. He received his basic training at Ft. Leonard Wood and advanced training at Ft. Polk, Louisiana. He went to California and five days later he left for Viet Nam. Private Joslen was an Infantryman in Company A, 2nd Battalion, Seventh Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division (Air Mobile). He stepped on a land mine only 3 months after his arrival and died of his wounds in a hospital in Viet Nam on October 31, 1966.
He was a brave, determined young man and received the Purple Heart, the Military Merit Medal and the Gallantry Cross with Palm, which were awarded to his parents and fiancé posthumously. On the day of his funeral the flags were flown at half mast until after the funeral service in his honor. Military services were conducted at his grave by the Carthage High School ROTC. He is buried in Park Cemetery.