The District


The South Santa Clara Valley Memorial District (SSCVMD) was formed as an independent special district on August 26, 1946, to recognize and serve the veterans of Gilroy and South Santa Clara Valley. There are 27 memorial districts in California, but the SSCVMD is the only memorial district in the Bay Area.

The District was formed under, and operates pursuant to the provisions of Division 6, Chapter 1 of the Military and Veterans Code of the State of California. Through the principal act, the Districts is empowered to provide and maintain the hall for use by veteran, as well as non-veteran individuals and organizations.

The District is managed and governed by a five-member board of directors, with at least three of the five seats designated for veterans. Board members are elected to a four-year term of office and there are no term limits.

The District boundaries and sphere of influence include the City of Gilroy and surrounding unincorporated lands, which encompasses 311.3 square miles.

How It All Started

In 1945, members of the community service clubs met and decided that “something should be done for local veterans” and a 12-member committee was formed to develop a plan. It was decided a building should be dedicated to veterans and they set out to secure property.

Once the property at 74 W. Sixth Street was secured, the South Santa Clara Valley Memorial District was formed. The founding board, which included Cecil Carlyle, Marcel Braquet, Mike Filice, Tom Underwood and Peter Blaettler, was elected in 1946. They spent the next several years raising money through a local tax assessment and the 6,350-square-foot Veterans Memorial Hall opened on May 25, 1951.

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Board of Directors

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Phil Garcia,
Board President

Term: 2013-18
Phil Garcia served two years in the United States Army, including one year in Vietnam with the 101st Airborne Division. He received numerous honors, including the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal and Campaign Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, ...
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Gabe Perez,

Board Vice President

Term: 2013-18
Gabe Perez joined the United States Air Force in 1969 and was stationed with the 79th Air Rescue and Recovery in Vietnam. Upon returning to the United States in 1971, he was stationed with the 354 TAC Wing where he worked on B-52s and KC134 Stratotankers until 1973...
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Ermelindo Puente,
Board Secretary

Term: 2016-20

Ermelindo Puente served two years in the United States Army and was stationed in Vietnam. He received numerous honors, including the Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, ...

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John Ceballos,
Director

Term: 2016-20
John Ceballos served his country in the Navy from 1964 to 1968 in Vietnam, for which the United States awarded him the National Defense Service Medal and the Vietnam Service Medal. He also received the Vietnam Campaign Medal from the Republic of Vietnam...
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Ray Sanchez

Ray Sanchez,
Director

Term: 2016-20
Ray Sanchez served his country from 1958 to 1964 in in the United States Army. He completed basic and advanced training at Fort Ord and served temporary duty at Fort Lewis in Washington. Ray’s permanent station was with the 1st Battlegroup 23rd Infantry, Charlie Company in

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Christine West,
Executive Director

Prior to joining the District, Christine West was executive director for Rebuilding Together-Monterey/Salinas (RTMS), a non-profit dedicated to rehabilitating homes for low-income homeowners for three years. She volunteered for RTMS for nearly 15 years ...
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Boundary Map

View the California Special District Association's (CSDA) comprehensive and interactive online map of special districts in the state through the Special Districts Mapping Project. 

Or click the map below to see the details of the South Santa Clara Memorial District

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