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Joyce, who grew up in Abilene, Texas, married Larry Joyce in 1960 (after a whirlwind three-month courtship), beginning a life-long adventure. Shortly after they married, Larry was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Army. They moved Fort Hood, Texas - the first of more than 20 moves over the next 20 years. In that time, Larry served two tours in Vietnam.

Joyce diverse career, from which she retired in 2005, has seen her work as an administrative assistant, a military youth activities director, a Military Family Center director, realtor, a program director, a high school and college English/literature teacher, a national program director for youth tobacco Issues, and a bed and breakfast owner. In 1983, she completed her Bachelor of Arts in English (cum laude). In 1986, she earned a Master of Arts in humanities.

As volunteer, Joyce has served as volunteer chair and VIP event cochair for the Granbury Wine Walk, as auxiliary liaison and a founding member of MOAA Greater Granbury (Texas) Chapter, and as a Veterans' Council member. She also conceived and produced the 2012 Memorial Day Field of Flags, helped organize Veteran's Day ceremonies, and has spoken on behalf of local organizations about life in the military and her son and husband's service to their country.

Joyce has three children, seven grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. Her youngest son, Army Sgt. James Casey Joyce, an Army Ranger, was killed in Mogadishu, Somalia, Oct. 3, 1993. He was 24 years old. Her husband, Lt. Col. Larry Joyce, USA, died at home April 30, 1999, after a hard-fought 2 1/2 year battle with leukemia.