Posted by

Five Monterey County military veterans remembered with California highway signs

We remember.
United States Army Specialist Vilmar Galarza Hernandez
United States Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Edward Balli
United States Army Specialist Ricardo Cerros Jr.
United States Army Sergeant Javier Sanchez
United States Army Private First Class Conrado D. Javier
“‘I got you sarge’ — They died fighting for their country, now Monterey County to honor them”:
The highway signs help ensure that these veterans are remembered. But to really understand their sacrifices, and what Memorial Day is about, witness the grief of Vilmar’s mother:

Among more than one million who gave their lives in U.S. military service are these and many other Monterey County residents.

* * *

The post below was previously published June 7, 2012. 

* * *

We remember
SPC Vilmar Galarza Hernandez of East Salinas
U.S. Army Spc. Vilmar Galarza Hernandez, age 21, died May 26, 2012 in  Zharay, Kandahar province, Afghanistan, when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.
Vilmar was born October 7, 1990 in Yuma, Arizona. He was a 2008 graduate of Everett Alvarez High School, Salinas. He joined the Army in 2009 and was first deployed to Afghanistan in 2010. His most recent deployment to Afghanistan began in April 2012.

Cards of remembrance may be sent to the Family of Vilmar Galarza Hernandez, c/o Building Healthy Communities-East Salinas, Attn: Rubi Galarza; 606 Williams Road; Salinas, CA 93908.

Vilmar is survived by his parents, Pedro and Gregoria Galarza; brother, Marvin Galarza; sister, Rubi Galarza; his wife, Margarita Contreras; and mother-in-law, Patricia Contreras.

Click here for Congressman Sam Farr’s address to the U.S. House of Representatives.  Click here for a KSBW interview with Vilmar’s mother and sister. Monterey County Weekly staff photographer Nic Coury’s photos are here.

Scroll to the end of this post to learn more, About SPC Vilmar Galarza Hernandez.

Soldado de Salinas, Vilmar Galarza Hernández, muere en Afganistán

Vilmar Galarza Hernandez,
killed in Afghanistan at age 21, giving his life in U.S. military service.


Photo above provided to media courtesy of the family.

* * * * *

The info below was previously published in 2012.

Bicyclists and pedestrians, and the motoring public as well, are invited and encouraged to view the procession to pay respect to the fallen soldier and his family.
You are urged to take alternate routes if timely travel is essential.  Please be patient if stopped by procession traffic.

Personnel from the Salinas Police Department, Officers from the California Highway Patrol and members of the Patriot Guard Riders will provide funeral escort for the funeral procession of  SPC Vilmar Galarza Hernandez, 21, of Salinas, who was killed in Afghanistan on May 26.  Learn more about the life of this Monterey County resident below.

Funeral services are planned for June 8, 2012 at 10 a.m.  at St. Mary’s Church, 424 Towt St., Salinas.  Upon completion of the mass, at approximately 11 a.m., the funeral procession will depart the church and will proceed through East Salinas to the Garden of Memories Cemetery at 768 Abbott St.

Officers assisting with escorting the procession will be stopping traffic at major cross-streets along the route.  Some short traffic delays are expected along the route and in the adjacent areas.

Funeral procession route

  1. Exit St. Mary’s church P/Lot making a N/B turn onto Towt St.
  2. Travel N/B on Towt St. to Garner Ave.
  3. Turn left onto Garner Ave. traveling W/B
  4. Turn left onto Acosta Plaza traveling S/B
  5. Continue S/B Acosta Plaza to N. Sanborn Rd.
  6. Turn right onto N. Sanborn Rd. traveling S/B
  7. Continue S/B N. Sanborn Rd. to John St.
  8. Turn right onto John St. traveling W/B
  9. Continue W/B John St. to Abbott St.
  10. Turn left onto Abbott St. traveling S/B
  11. At the intersection of E. Romie Lane bear slightly right into the entrance to the Garden of Memories Cemetery

Questions?  Please contact Dana Cornelison, Traffic SGT,  831-758-7975 –

About SPC Vilmar Galarza Hernandez

Thank you to local journalists for the following and other stories about this young soldier.

Photo essay by Nic Coury of the Monterey County Weekly: Note: That photo essay seems inaccessible at the Weekly website on 5/27/16; check with the Weekly, and perhaps try link again later from this page:…………

Vilmar was a resident of East Salinas /

This post was previously published June 7, 2012. 

This post was published on 28 May 2018. One or more changes last made to this post on 25 May 2024.

Comments are closed.