2009 Inductee - Salvador Guillen

2009 Inductee - Salvador Guillen


Salvador was born on July 31, 1946 in Stockton to Manuel and Florinda Guillen, He attended August Elementary School, before moving to Lancaster, California in 1953 where his father worked at Edward’s Air Base. He graduated from Antelope Valley high school in 1965, and in 1967 moved to Stockton and enlisted in the U.S. Army.

Stationed in Vietnam in 1968, he became a Squad Leader in the 1st Cavalry Division, in charge of six 17-21 year olds. He was awarded a Purple Heart, after hitting a “booby trap”, a Silver Star for saving three wounded soldiers pinned down by enemy fire, presented personally by General Westmoreland, Commander In Chief, and three Bronze Stars for valor. Salvador also received the National Defense Medal and Vietnam Cross of Gallantry With Palm.

As he recovered from wounds on the USS Repo, he was awarded the Purple Heart by General Norman Swartzkopf. Transferred to a hospital at Fort Carson, Colorado he was honorably discharged in December 1969. In 1971, he re-enlisted in the U.S. Army and was sent to Germany, assembling and securing Hercules Missles. In 1976, he was again honorably discharged, after serving another seven years.

In 1977, he worked at Tracy Defense Depot as warehouseman, in 1978, Rough and Ready Island as Mechanic Helper, Mechanic, and a finally, a Journeyman Mechanic. In 1995, transferring to Sharpe Army Depot, he became an Equipment Specialist, and Forklift Training Officer, and in 1999, transferred to Tracy Defense Depot, where he retired in 2000, after 3o years of military and government service.

In 1988, a co-worker gave Salvador a photo of himself and his squad jumping out of a helicopter in Vietnam, which was used as a stamp in the 1960’s Century Series Stamp collection. In 1999 the Stockton Post Office presented him with the stamp, now a collector’s item, and featured in books, including the cover of Vietnam: The History and Tactics. Salvador has been a Big Brothers volunteer for 2o years, a youth basketball and golf coach, officiated various sports and regularly speaks to students at Linden High School about the Vietnam War.