While American Joe’s history in politics spans many years, before he ventured into the legislative world, he was a member of the Maryland Air National Guard from 1969 to 1975. An element of the Maryland National Guard, the Maryland Air National Guard is the aerial militia of the State of Maryland, and a reserve component of the United States Air Force. Joe and the jets he worked on were kept at Martin Airport in Middle River, MD. American Joe went to Lackland, Texas for basic training in 1969, to Lowry Air Force Base in Denver, Colorado for tech school for 6 months, and then spent the remainder of his six years years in the Air National Guard in Maryland after that in the 175th Tactical Fighter Group. “I was doing what I was trained to do,” says Joe. “It’s highly technical.”
However, back home, American Joe was one of a long line of Miedusiewski’s in the hospitality business. American Joe’s Polish grandfather, Josef Mioduszewski, opened the popular bar American Joe’s in 1923, and his father, Frank Miedusiewski, kept the name when he later assumed ownership. When Frank Miedusiewski ran for the House of Delegates in 1970, he lost by a few hundred votes because some people knew him only as “American Joe” and not by his legal name. His son, the American Joe we know today, ran for the House and won in 1974 – but not before legally changing his name to American Joe.