In November, we launched Paras News, with a spotlight on veterans. This week we want to give thanks to our client Paco Salazar for letting usfeature him and tell his story of courage, accomplishment, and humility.
Paco was a combat Vietnam vet, a helicopter door gunner in the squadron who became the HA(L)-3 Seawolves. In 1968, Paco was wounded when his chopper went down. He and others injured in the crash were presented with the Purple Heart, whose recipients include JFK, John McCain, and John Kerry, among many others in combat. But Paco humbly declined the distinguished award, saying the KIA (or Killed In Action) were “the guys who deserve the Purple Heart.”
Back in the States, Paco went to college on the GI Bill and got his master’s degree in social work. He became the principal at an alternative high school in the Granite District and eventually a college dean at Salt Lake Community College, where he stayed 25 years. Now retired, Paco spends his time uncovering antique treasures as a “picker” and as best buddy to his 7-year-old grandson.