Thursday, August 11, 2005
Army Staff Sgt. Gary A. Vaillant
Army Staff Sgt. Gary A. Vaillant
41 years old from Trujillo, Puerto Rico
2nd Battalion, 72nd Armor
September 05, 2004

A native of Trujillo, Puerto Rico, Vaillant met his wife, Michaela, while salsa dancing when he was stationed in Germany. His wife, his 12-year-old daughter, Sarah, and his stepson, Andy, 22, live in Vine Grove.

“He was a good husband, a good father, a good friend and a good brother in the Lord,” said Radcliff resident Salomon Collazo, a member of Vaillant’s church.

Michaela Vaillant said her husband was very active in church, leading a Spanish-speaking congregation at the Church of God in Radcliff.

“He liked to be able to minister to people,” Michaela Vaillant said. “I know he was the preacher in his unit.”

The couple was married in 1996, with ceremonies in Germany and New York, where some of Gary Vaillant’s family lives. He was then deployed to Bosnia before being stationed at Fort Knox, where he worked from 1997 until he left for Korea in January, his wife said. Vaillant had been in the Army for 16 years, also serving in Operation Desert Storm in the early 1990s.

Members of his congregation at the church said Vaillant was an inspiration.

“He was always going around helping somebody,” said Michael Brown, a friend. “He was very spiritual. This man would take the shirt off his back for anybody.”

These brave men and women have given their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
The Only Thing Necessary For Evil To Triumph
Is For Good Men To Do Nothing