Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Salvador Alfredo Montoya, who served in a communications unit during the Vietnam War.

Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Salvador Alfredo Montoya, who served as a communications specialist during the Vietnam War.

Salvador Alfredo Montoya received a draft notice his senior year of high school that stated he was to report to the U.S. Army on Sept. 14, 1966. Montoya was a second-generation Veteran. His father, a technician fifth grade, served in the U.S. Army during World War II. The younger Montoya completed basic training at Fort Bliss, Texas, and afterward, went to Fort Huachuca, Arizona. As a communications specialist, he learned to climb telephone poles, lay wires and survive the heat in Arizona.

Afterward, he reported to Oakland, California, and eventually deployed to Vietnam. Montoya landed in Saigon, Vietnam, after a long and uncomfortable flight. He served with the 25th Infantry Division in the province of Chu Chi. His platoon reported to the 3rd Battalion, 13th Field Artillery Regiment, which had six 155 howitzers and a communications unit.

Montoya’s primary job was to maintain communications with the howitzers. He also guarded the perimeter, along with other soldiers, to protect against enemy penetration. They often received small arms fire.

Montoya witnessed the affects that battles had on men. He recalled pulling out his prayer card with the 23rd Psalm to recite, which helped him during hard times. For many years he experienced PTSD as well as effects from exposure to Agent Orange during his service in Vietnam.

After Vietnam, he reported to Fort Hood, Texas. His unit trained for riot control and went to Chicago to help deal with the aftermath of the deaths of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy. Around this time, Montoya made the choice to not re-enlist and completed his time with the U.S. Army on Sept. 13, 1968, with an honorable discharge.

Montoya earned awards for his service, including an Army Commendation Medal, Good Conduct Medal, a National Defense Service Medal, a Vietnam Service Medal with two bronze service stars, a Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal and  a Sharpshooter Badge (Rifle).

Montoya returned home to El Paso, started working, attended college and married.  He graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso in May 1976 with a bachelor’s in business management. He and his wife had three daughters, five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Montoya retired in 2010 after over decades in the transportation industry. After retiring, he volunteered as a scouting specialist and new unit organizer for the Boy Scouts of America, recruiting in underserved areas of El Paso to offer boys the same opportunities he enjoyed in his youth.

Montoya passed Nov. 9, 2018. His military legacy lives on through his grandson, who is serving in the U.S. Army.

We honor his service.


Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.


Contributors

Writer: Jessica Alvarado

Editors: Nolan Lounsbery and Theresa Lyon

Fact checker: Patrick E. Woods

Graphic artist: Brittany Gorski

Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Air Forces Veteran Quentin Aanenson, who served as a fighter pilot during World War II.#VeteranOfTheDay Army Air Forces Veteran Quentin Aanenson
Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Marine Corps Veteran Dean Caswell, who served as a pilot during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.#VeteranOfTheDay Marine Corps Veteran Dean Caswell

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4 Comments

  1. Senior Veterans Care Network February 4, 2022 at 10:28 am

    We honor the service of Salvador Alfredo Montoya

  2. Mike January 30, 2022 at 12:02 pm

    He does NOT have a Bronze Star. Fake graphics/

  3. Dale E. Wilson January 30, 2022 at 3:47 am

    You show a Bronze Star Medal in the illustration, but his bio indicates he received only an Army Commendation Medal and Good Conduct Medal, as well as the usual ribbons associated with Vietnam service: National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with two bronze service stars (one for each campaign in which he participated), and the Vietnam Campaign Medal with 60 device.

    I suspect whoever put this together mistook the bronze service stars for award of the Bronze Star Medal. Attention to detail and knowledge of the subject are essential to getting the job done right!

  4. Celeste Rodriguez January 29, 2022 at 7:26 pm

    Thank you to the contributors of this blog. We are incredibly proud of the write up on the Veteran of the Day – my dad! We are just in awe of this honor. Thank you again.

Comments are closed.

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