Joseph joined the Illinois Air National Guard in 1984 at the age of 17. After graduating in 1985, he left for Lakeland Air Force Base (AFB) in San Antonio. While attending technical school training at Lowry AFB in Denver, he studied Air Force food service. During his first assignment with the 126th Air Refueling Wing Services Flight, he began his career as an apprentice Cook, advancing quickly through the ranks to hold positions such as Senior Cook, Supervisor, and Food Production Manager.
In 1991, during Operation Desert Storm, Bluver was put on active duty, and stationed at Grissom Air Force Base in Indiana. He left the Illinois National Guard after 16 years and joined the Air Force Reserves. In 2000, he transferred to the Air Force Reserves 440th Services Flight in Milwaukee. In 2003, during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Bluver was once again placed on active duty. He was stationed in North Dakota at Grand Forks Air Force Base attached to the 319th Services Squadron, where he was the assigned Safety and Training Manager (with the responsibility of organizing training manuals) in areas such as lodging, base gym, and the dining hall. Bluver retired from the Air Force Reserves in 2004 after more than 20 years of service. Bluver was nominated by his wife, Terri Landey-Bluver whom he married in 1999. They live with their two sons in Lake in the Hills, Illinois.
“There isn’t anything Joe wouldn’t do for you,” said Landey-Bluver. “He would give you the shirt off your back if you asked him for it. He was always there for his servicemen. He would always go beyond on his duties. He was always the first to volunteer to go on a deployment, whether it was stateside or overseas. It was hard once we had children, but he was up for the challenge and continued his service for several years once we had kids. Joe is very committed to everything he does, and does it very well.”
Bluver chose Platoon 22 to receive the donation made by NFM Salute on his behalf.