On August 3, 2002 at 0900, relatives and friends of CMOH Recipient, PFC Jose F. Valdez, Company B, 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division will gather to dedicate a monument in his honor at Gobernador, NM. PFC Valdez, awarded the CMOH posthumously for his heroic actions near Rosenkrantz, France on 25 JAN 45, is buried at the Santa Fe, NM National Cemetery. Gobernador is PFC Valdez’ birthplace and official home of record. The family home is still standing although the community no longer exists. He was ordered to report to Pleasant Grove, UT for induction into the US Army but never actually lived in Utah however, he is listed as a Utah CMOH recipient. A US Navy Vessel was previously named in his honor, as have schools, streets and USAR/ANG training centers and armories in Utah, Colorado and Georgia. This will be New Mexico’s first memorial/monument in his honor.
The committee, which is made up PFC Valdez’ relatives and friends and chaired by Mr. Pat Montoya of Blanco, NM, has been working on the monument for more than two years to honor their former neighbor and fallen war hero. They are also working with state legislators to have a 75-mile stretch of US Highway 64 named in PFC Valdez’ honor. Gobernador’s former residents and/or their lineal descendents gather annually for the Santo Nino Reunion in August. The celebration begins with a Catholic Mass and includes a picnic, dance, and games. Several hundred people attend the event to share their memories and stories of times past as well as to remember those who have passed on. The committee thought it would be an appropriate time for the dedication and invite area members of The 7th Infantry Regiment Association and The Society of the 3rd Infantry Division to participate in the festivities.