SOMERTON, Ariz. – Classmates from Kofa High School class of 1966 got together to honor a friend who lost his life in the Vietnam War.
Joe C. Cardenas joined the army after graduation and was eventually promoted to Staff Sergeant. He was deployed to Vietnam and on October 12, 1968, Joe lost his life.
Joe’s friends presented the idea to the Somerton City Council and it was approved last week. We spoke to a few of Joe’s friends to hear about who he was as a man, friend and athlete.
Joe’s childhood friend Bill Silva came up with the idea to honor his friend’s life and legacy.
Chairman of the 50 year Kofa high school reunion said, “Bill Silva came to me a couple of months ago, letting me know he needed my help getting this to the city council. He’s the only Somerton resident killed in Vietnam.”
Silva said, “Joe played softball and baseball and there was camaraderie between Joe and I for years. Still to this day I think of him, we lost a great friend. Somerton lost a great citizen.”
The memorial will be unveiled November 5th at their 50 year class reunion.
Somerton City Manager Bill Lee, “The Mayor and I had never heard of Joe C. Cardenas and it’s a real honor on our part.”