Honoring Our Veterans

1. The action of helping, assisting or doing work for others.

As members of the Service Employees International Union, we know what it means to serve. That calling to help others extends beyond the workplace; many of our members are veterans, and many of our members have family members that are or were dedicated military personnel.

We want to honor union supporters who serve our country. If you or a loved one is a veteran, or a currently in the military, please share your photos with us! Email your photo, name of veteran and branch of service to communications@seiu521.org.

We marched in Veteran’s Day Parades on November 11, view the photo albums here:

Salinas Veteran’s Day Parade.

San Jose Veteran’s Day Parade.

Sgt. Robert Eugene Filice is a retired Monterey County Treatment Plant Operator employee and former SEIU member:

Bob Back In Vietnam Bob USMC Young Bob USMC

Bob joined the Marine Corps at the age of 18 years old and served from 1966 to 1970. He served in Vietnam in 1967 and 1968. Bob saw all the hot spots while in Vietnam – places such as Da Nang, Khe Sanh, Phu Bai and Hue City during the infamous Tet Offensive. Shortly after Bob’s retirement from Monterey County, he decided to revisit Vietnam. He traveled throughout the country, both north and south, and travelled to many of the same places he travelled during the war years. Bob is very proud to have served his country as a United States Marine and as he says, “once a Marine, always a Marine.”

Alfred B. Ramirez was the father of SEIU 521 member Sandra Ramirez, a Library Assistant II in Marina. Alfred was a union member with the US Postal Service for 17 years.

dad veteran         dad30dad34   dad21

Alfred retired from the Army after 35 years of service. He passed away in 2006 after battling cancer related to Agent Orange. Alfred had reached the highest enlisted rank in the Army as Sergeant Major (E-9). After retiring from the Army, Alfred worked as a union member at the US Postal Service for 17 years.

Alfred is survived by his daughter Sandra, who told us a bit about his life of #service: “My dad absolutely loved being in the Army. God, Family, and Country were his values. He believed in working hard, and doing the right thing.

He was an infantryman, paratrooper with 82nd, 101st and 173rd Airborne divisions. He was a pistol shooter and coach for the Army Marksmanship Unit. He was stationed at Ft. Bragg, NC, Ft. Benning, GA, Ft. Campbell, Ky, Ft. Ord, CA and several places overseas. He served in the Korean War and 2 tours of duty in the Vietnam War. In 2008, my dad was inducted into the ‘In Memory Program’ in Washington DC. His name is not on the Vietnam Memorial Wall since he did not die in combat, but died as a result of the war. He will be remembered through this In Memory Program, which is held every year in June in Washington, DC.

His family meant the world to him. Mom and dad were married 53 years and they raised 4 daughters. My dad always had a smile on his face and was a good person.”

Carlos Martinez is an Employment Programs Specialist and SEIU 521 Chapter Board Member for Monterey County :

Carlos Martinez

“I served as a Sergeant in the US Army Signal Corps from 1980-1986. Fort Ord was my last duty station after getting a stateside swap from Fort Gordon, GA. I watched Fort Ord shrink, then as FORA took hold, saw it grow again. I supervised a team of communications operators in a tactical support unit. Our job was to provide radio and telephone communications to the main unit, using top secret equipment. I was fortunate enough to have stayed in radio having worked as a public safety dispatcher and commercial radio broadcaster.

‘Thanks for your service’ is a term that is fairly new to us post Vietnam vets. Next time you see a service member coming back to his/her community, just say: ‘Welcome home’. We always liked that.”

Kelam L. Bayard

Drill Sergeant Retired

“I joined US Army on March 12, 1986, and served six active years followed by 16 years as a reservist.

My first duty assignment was with a Field Artillery unit in Augsburg, FRG, where I served 3 years. I was thereafter re-assigned to the Defense Language Institute, Monterey, CA., from 1989 through 1991.

After active duty, I briefly joined the California National Guard in 1992, and was assigned the 149th Armor unit in Salinas, CA. I was deployed with this unit to Southern California during the L.A. Riots unrest.

I joined the 375th Engineers unit off of Reservation Rd., in Marina, CA., in 1993, and served there until I began civilian employment with Monterey County in 1994. I continued my enlistment with the Engineer Battalion until I joined a 104th Division’s Drill Sergeant unit on Moffett Federal Airfield, Mountain View, CA., in 1999. I graduated from Drill Sergeant school in January 2000, and remained there until I retired as a Senior Drill Instructor in 2008.

I’m honored, proud, and was privileged to have served in the most elite armed forces in the world.”

Lou Fiori is a Supervising Building Inspector for Monterey County and an SEIU 521 member:

Lou Fiori pictured with Monterey County Chapter President Julie Filice.

Lou Fiori pictured with Monterey County Chapter President Julie Filice.

Lou served in the U.S. Navy from 1967-1971, including a year in Vietnam, where he was assigned to Small Craft Repair Facility/Literage (S.C.R.F.) at Tien Sa Peninsula, Da Nang RVN.  From 1969 -1971 Lou was assigned to Engineering Repair aboard the U.S.S. Yosemite, Destroyer Tender: A.D.-19. He was then stationed at NAVSTA Newport Rhode Island, and changed Home Port to Naval station Mayport Florida in 1969. While aboard the Yosemite, Lou served as Duty Section Leader, on scene Fire party leader, Duty Damage Control Petty Officer, &
Nucleus Fire Party Leader. In his words,  “Some gave all. All gave some.”


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