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Juan-Manuel Valera Sr.-CWO 3-US Army-Retired-Vietnam War Veteran

Juan-Manuel Augusto Valera, Sr. , also known as Johnny, age 85, last resided at Alexander Nininger State Veterans Nursing Home in Pembroke Pines, FL. He died on November 20, 2022 at the Memorial Regional Hospital following a gradual but steady decline in his health that resulted in renal failure and congestive heart failure.
On June 1, 1937, he was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic to his late parents, Manuel Augusto Valera and Luz Maria Pichardo.
On September 6, 1967, after a short courtship, he married Silvia Altagracia Pichardo in her native city of San Francisco de Macoris, Dominican Republic. They shared 26 years and together raised 3 children, Fadrique (54), Margarita (49), and Juan-Manuel (41). He became the proud grandfather of (listed in birth order): Moises (23), Luz Raziel (22), Arianna (21), Naim (14) and Emir (7).
He was drafted into the US Army in the early 1960s, completed a tour of Vietnam, and extended his service into a respected military career of over 20 years as an officer in the US Army and retired with the rank of CWO 3. Among the many duties he carried out, some are especially notable. He wrote training manuscripts; he instructed foreign military officers as well as served as a translator; and perhaps more importantly, he was responsible for ensuring that Geneva conventions were observed towards war prisoners during the Vietnam War. The G.I. Bill afforded him the opportunity to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Campbell College in North Carolina and a few years after he retired, he pursued and earned a MBA from the PUCMM (Pontificia Universidad Catolica Madre y Maestra) in Santo Domingo, D.R.
His military service led him to reside in places such as Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, Ft. Benning, Georgia, Ft. Hood, Texas, Ft. Bliss, Texas, Ft. Amador, Panama, Ft. Holabird, Maryland, amongst others. After he retired from the army in 1982, he moved his family to his native home of Santo Domingo and in 1994 moved to Miami, Florida where he resided until 2017. In 2017, he made the Alexander Nininger State Veterans Nursing Home his final place of residence until his passing. During his U S Army career, CWO Valera was awarded the Army Commendation Medal: Good Conduct Metal (3 devices); National Defense Service Medal; Vietnam Service Medal w/ 4 Bronze Stars; Armed Services Reserve Medal; Army Service Ribbon; Overseas Service Medal w/ 1 Star; Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with 3 Palms; Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal; two Overseas Service Bars and the Meritorious Service Medal.
Johnny had a diverse and extensive list of interests. It can be said that he was a lifelong student of many subjects including arts and history. He subscribed to the newspaper and read it daily. He was an avid reader of many literary works. His lifelong passion was music and had a significant collection of vinyl music albums, cassettes, and cd’s, spanning from the classical genre to many folkloric and cultural representations from Latin America. He enjoyed collecting historical military artifacts and had an incredible knowledge of politics, history, world news, historical figures and leaders. Despite his military background and skills, he was a true romantic who loved writing poetry and letters. He admired art and enjoyed the finer things in life. He was in love with the fall/autumn season and the changing leaves always took his breath away. He was well known for his unique and polished penmanship and perhaps its one of a kind style shall never be duplicated.
Johnny was a devout Catholic who led a life of prayer and devotion. He believed in praying the Rosary and made it a daily habit to dedicate time to prayer and reflection as well as attending Mass.
He will be remembered for his many unique talents and skills. He was a fierce protector and a doting grandfather who left an indelible mark on his grandchildren from the time of their births. He was known to be an animal lover and rescuer. He had a generous heart and felt inclined to help others, even strangers. Although he was well known for his strong character, discipline and duty, we will not forget his charm, charismatic personality, and love for music and art.
May he forever rest in peace.
Full military burial and interment will be 2:00 PM, Friday, December 9, 2022 at the South Florida National Cemetery, State Route 7, Lake Worth, Florida with the US Army Funeral Team from FT. Gordon, Georgia providing military honors.
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