By Rachel Fleischman
Before he was 20 years old, Joel C. Mojica had fought in one of the bloodiest battles of World War II, and had a Purple Heart medal to prove it.
Mojica was an Army sergeant during the war, and, like many young men of his generation, was drafted when he was only 18 years old. After he was called up on Oct. 29, 1943, Mojica was sent to Hampton, England, where he trained for battle on a daily basis. His role in the Army was as a replacement soldier; his unit sent personnel to companies needing men to take the place of wounded and dead soldiers.