Lunch Pail And All, Josh Fuga Has Perspective — On His Own Culture And Virginia Tech’s

Josh Fuga Virginia Tech
Josh Fuga, carrier of the Lunch Pail, has a great perspective — of both his own culture and Virginia Tech’s. (Will Stewart)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Josh Fuga’s Polynesian pride was easy to see during the Virginia Tech defensive tackle’s turn in front of the assembled media at the ACC Kickoff. The black kukui nut lei he wore around his neck is a symbol of protection and peace in Hawaii, a meaningful cultural item that was the first thing he packed for the trip to the Queen City. 

“My mom would be very, VERY unpleased with me if I didn’t wear this,” he said.

Familial closeness, sacrifice and support are hallmarks of Polynesian culture, no more than in the Fuga household. His mom is from Oahu’s North Shore in Hawaii, his dad from American Samoa and his grandmother is Filipino, with Josh born shortly after the family relocated to Northern Virginia. 

Fuga’s working on learning the Samoan that his father and uncle speak fluently, and he craves genuine Hawaiian food. It’s why he goes out of his way on trips home to hit up his uncle and aunt’s restaurant, Locus Grove Spoon and Fork, just to the west of Fredericksburg in Orange County. The Hokies veteran practically salivated when talking about the shoyu sauce, mochiko chicken and teriyaki beef they import from the islands, confessing to housing two plates of the latter on his most recent stop.