Sergeant Jose Valencia, born May 12, 1985, left this world Aug. 11, 2018. He was 33.
Born in El Salvador, he came to the United States at the age of nine. He joined the U.S. Army at the age of 18. Jose served two tours in Iraq and was awarded the Global War on Terrorism Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with three stars, Combat Infantry Badge, Overseas Medal three times, along with other medals. While serving in Iraq, he was given his United States citizenship which he cherished.
After Jose retired from the Army, he came from Florida to Lowell on a bear hunt for combat injured veterans. While on the hunt, seeing other combat injured veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, he decided to volunteer with the Send-A-Vet Foundation and do whatever he could to make other veterans’ stay as rewarding as his was. With his help and ambition it was possible to send more veterans on hunting and fishing trips here in Idaho.
All the veterans admired the work he put into it. He will be missed by everyone he knew or served with.
He leaves behind his father Juan Gonzalez, mother Nora Valencia, sister Marilyn Gonzalez, brother Jesse Gonzalez, and all brothers and sisters who served or are serving in the armed forces.
A celebration of Jose’s life will be at Rick Sutter’s home on the Selway, 117 Swiftwater Road, Lowell, at 1300 hours on Sept. 1.
Memorials can be sent to Mark Daniel Brasel at Send-A-Vet (www.send-a-vet.org). He will make sure that all the veterans’ organizations Jose supported will not be forgotten.