Richard David Saldana

Specialist Four
Army of the United States
07 July 1950 - 02 March 1971
Oxnard, California
Panel 04W Line 017

Combat Infantry

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Richard David Saldana

5 Oct 2004

This is a special tribute to my best friend Richard. We spent many years as friends in school and in the military. Richard enlisted in the Army after graduating, after basic he requested to be sent to Vietnam because I was there. He truly surprised me when he showed up on Artillery Hill to see me, that day is always on my mind. The day his life was taken was the saddest day for me, I truly miss him. His name is on the memorial in Oxnard, California. You truly are a hero, my friend.

From a friend,
Eugene Padilla Jr.

29 Jan 2005

My brother ... I was only nine years old, but my memory of him I have cherished all my life. I remember my father had to tell my mother the news that her baby boy's life was taken away. Your services, you under the glass unable for us to touch you, to brush our fingers through your hair for the last time. Tears from many loved ones stained your glass frame. You're gone, but here with us in every day of our lives. You're wished a happy birthday every 7th of July, and a moment of silence and prayer in March of every year. With every bite of an oatmeal cookie ... reminds me of you in the kitchen baking some for us all. I love you and miss you, Richard ... Your baby sister Mary.

From his sister,
Mary Saldana

29 Jan 2005

"Hi" to all who read my uncle's page... This is Laura Garcia, Richard's niece. I was 2 years old when I lost my uncle... I remember very little about him, but I do remember that he was very loving and kind. The day of his funeral will forever be embedded in my heart. I was only 2 but I remember the 21 gun salute, people crying. I remember being held in my Uncle Danny's arms cause my mom was too devastated to take care of me. I remember looking at her and she was in so much pain with tears flowing down her face ... I remember thinking "What made her soooooo sad?" I didn't understand... why was my uncle behind that glass ... why couldn't I touch him??????? Why couldn't I kiss him????? I love you, Tio, I miss you and all that could have been. May you always rest in peace, Tio Richard... Love... Laura

From his niece,
Laura Garcia
39 East Hampton Way, Fresno, Ca 93704

2 Feb 2005

I never knew my uncle from memory, only what I was told. I know from that he was a loving man and a kind man. Even though I never really knew him, I have and always will miss him. I love you, Tio...

From a nephew,
Ray Lamphere
112 S. Haynes Ave, Packwood, Wa 98361

3 Apr 2005

This memorial is written for my Brother Richard - I am Barbara, one of his older sisters...

My little Brother, every time I think of your being gone, I remember having you with me for your last Christmas and New Year's Eve ... the year ... 1970. I felt so proud to have a little brother that was so responsible, kind, loving, and considerate of others...

The day of your Funeral, I remember it so well, yet, I found it very hard to accept that you were gone ... I waited and I waited for your return ... every August, and nothing... I received letters, returned by the military - undeliverable. The gift you sent to me arrived long after you were gone...

I will always love you, my little brother, I will miss you always ... although I know that you are better off in the hands of our Loving God, I can honestly say that we are all selfish and would much rather have you here with us.

The memorial that Gene Padilla put online for you touched us all, and now one at a time, we are adding to it, our own feelings, our own thoughts... We were close, brother, and I truly miss having you to talk to ... but one day, you will be one of the chosen ones, and will live in the next coming ... with lots of love from your Sister Barbara I want to say that you were, are, and will always be the pride of our Family...

I love you Richard, and from heaven we all feel you watching out for us...

From his sister,
Barbara Saldana

20 Apr 2005

Hello everyone. My name is Roberta Avila and I am Richard's oldest sister. First of all, I would like to thank everyone who has posted their memories on here for us to remember him by. Richard was very dear to all of our family and he is missed very much. I remember the day we found out about his death and the pain we all felt. I remember seeing a van driving up and down the street and thinking to myself,"They're looking for the family of a fallen soldier to give them the bad news." I didn't know that we would be the family they were looking for. Moments later, my brother Danny came running in telling us that someone was outside telling my dad that Richard had passed away. I saw the tears fall from my father's eyes and I fell to my knees in disbelief. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I'll never forget that day as long as I live. Even months after the funeral, I still couldn't accept that he was gone. Every time the door bell rang, I prayed that somehow, someone had made a mistake.

Every year on July 7th, I always remember to wish you a happy birthday. I try my hardest to keep your memory alive. I talk about you all the time and have pictures of you all over the house. Every memory and moment spent with you will be cherished forever. It still hurts to go from the first of the year to the end and not have you in our presence. One thought that comforts me is knowing that you are better off than any of us here! You are in heaven, patiently waiting for us to join you. To those who didn't have the blessing of knowing my brother, he was a loving, kind-hearted person we all looked up to. You are a hero, Richard. And you will never be forgotten...

Love always, Roberta

Roberta Avila
4406 N. Tamera Ave., Fresno, Ca 93722

15 Jul 2006

Hello! My name is Valentino Tapia - we were very small, and the whole gang used to fit in my father's old GMC. I particularly recall that last time, when I looked up to you in the back of the flat-bed truck, and I recall the Burt Lancaster warm smile - what a bright, warm smile.

Yes, I took to the thorny road, yet I am a veteran also. Anyway, to make a long story short, I kept my promise to you, and to Robert F. Kennedy.

I got off the plane in DC, went to the hotel, and walked hours to the "Wall" and said "Okay, Richard, I told you I would see you again, promise kept." I saw your brother Danny many moons ago and he seemed in good spirit.

I advocate for the disabled Veterans of America - it's the least I can do. And I graduate this year with my B.A. from CSUSB.

God Bless America and those who served in the Armed Forces -

From your second cousin,
Valentino Tapia
2700 Little Mountain A-104
San Bernardino, CA 92405

31 Jan 2007

Hello to everyone... My name is Veronica M. Saldana Lamphere... I am Richard Saldana's great niece. I never met my tio, but heard great things of him. Like what he did for our country! Never meeting him but knowing what he has done makes me proud! I had just found this memorial because in my American Government class I am doing a project on Military History in my family. I found this... it is very touching the stories I have read!!!

I am to follow in my tio's and father's footsteps to be in the US Army! At this moment I am in Army JROTC! I am a SFC and the battalion S-1 assistant and soon to be Battalion S-1. But this memorial is the greatest thing I have ever came upon the internet!

Veronica Saldana

A Note from The Virtual Wall

E Company, 4th of the 503rd Infantry, lost 3 men on 02 March 1971:
  • SGT Richard L. Stockett, Mesa, AZ;
  • SP4 Richard D. Saldana, Oxnard, CA; and
  • PFC Herbert E. Mulkey, Mount Airy, MD.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 5 Oct 2004
Last updated 08/10/2009