Remembering Heroes of the Pacific Now Buried in Punchbowl

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BY DUANE VACHON – Yesterday The National Memorial Cemetery received another hero. PFC JR Salvacion was laid to rest. A young man, a husband, a father, and a patriot in a country that he had adopted but was not yet a citizen of.

PFC Salvacion may not have the medals that we usually associate with heroes but he is a hero n the truest sense of the word. He died so that his son, who will never know his father, will grow up in a country free of terrorists. He died so that the many sons in Afghanistan will have the opportunity to grow up in a country that is free from tyranny and terrorists.


Few of us will do the spectacular deeds of heroism that spread themselves across the pages of our newspapers in big black headlines. But we can all be heroic in the
little things of everyday life. We can do the helpful things, say the kind words, meet our difficulties with courage and high hearts, we can stand up for the right when the cost is high, keep our word even though it means sacrifice, be a giver instead of a destroyer.

Often this quiet, humble heroism is the greatest heroism of all.

Salvacion entered the Army just over a year ago and deployed to Afghanistan as an infantryman in August. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, out of Fort Carson, Colorado.

He was killed on February 21st in Senjaray, Afghanistan, when his Army unit was attacked with an improvised explosive device. His awards include the Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon and NATO medal.

Some peoples’ lives can truly make a difference however long or short their lives on earth. They give the gifts of kindness and of caring. They sow the seeds of friendship and self-worth. Some people’s lives are beautiful examples of putting others first, and when they are gone, the lives of those they touched are so much richer, and the love they shared lives on and on.

Our country is grateful for PFC JR Salvacion’s, service to our Great Nation and greatly appreciate him for our freedom. PFC JR Salvacion, you are a true American Hero and will not be forgotten.

Stand down Soldier, your mission is complete. Job Well Done. May our Heavenly Father welcome you home to rest.

‘Duane A Vachon PhD works at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. He is the author of “Gems From The Antipodes: 12 Collections of Faith-Focusing Insights” now available from, Amazon, Barnes & Noble. He can be reached at’