2nd Platoon, C Company, 4th/47th Battalion, 2nd Brigade
Message from Jimmie Salazar – December 28, 2009. I met Mario in May of 1966 at Fort Riley, Kansas when became part of the 9th Infantry Division as it was reactivated for combat duty in Vietnam. Mario was a young guy from Calexico, California and I was from Austin, Texas. Our friendship hit right off and we were inseparable all through training and in Vietnam – we took care of each other, not only in the field but wherever we went. After our June 19th Battle we were separated because of the “infusion” program in which Mario was transferred to the 4th Infantry Division and I stayed behind in Charlie Company where I finished my tour of duty in January 1968.
I didn’t see Mario again until we were clearing post at Camp Bearcat getting ready to come home. Upon arrival at Travis Air Force Base we didn’t have time to exchange addresses or phone numbers. So for 42 years I searched for Mario to no avail, but one July day this year I received a phone call from a friend who told me he had heard from Mario and so we finally made contact with each other. We had a bit of a reunion when I traveled to his home in Sacramento, California – we spent several days together reminiscing the good ole days and showing each other our old Army photos. It was a fine visit and Mario really hasn’t changed one bit; he’s still the same old fun loving guy he always was. That trip brought closure to a very long search and now Mario is back with all of his ole Army buddies. Welcome Home Brother!