Vito Valenzuela obituary: Second Lt. Vito Valenzuela death happened in his room on Vance Airforce base, Oklahoma on October 4, 2019.
71st Flying Training Wing Commander Col. Corey Simmons confirmed his death in a statement from the base that read:
“We are deeply saddened to share this news with Vito’s family, peers and Team Vance.
Although new to our team, he was already making an impact. His absence will be felt across the Wing and the community.”
Valenzuela was a member of the 71st Student Squadron at Vance and had been stationed there since late July. A service in his honour will be held at the base in the near future.
Vito Valenzuela obituary: Vito Valenzuela death – what happened
A touching tribute in Vito’s honour from Glorious Old Zoo reads:
Last week, we lost a brother, 2nd Lieutenant Vito Valenzuela.
Vito was inspired to come to the Academy by his older brother, who is a 2010 grad. Initially denied appointment, he persevered to his goal through a Falcon Scholarship at Randolph Macon Academy.
Vito made it in and pushed through to graduate with CS-38 this year before heading to pilot training.
To all, he was incredibly friendly and polite and kept his friends very close. He dearly loved his parents and brother, and he held his team and his buddies as close as family.
To strangers, he held himself formal and composed, treating all with consideration and respect.
To friends and family, he was lighthearted and jovial. In his free time, Vito loved playing volleyball and breakdancing with his friends, and by all accounts, he was very good.
Militarily, he was passionate about being his absolute best and taking care of his people. Vito’s uniform and room were always perfect.
If his shirt had a small stain, he’d change it as soon as he could. If he found a spec of dust in his room, he’d clean it immediately. He was dedicated to leading by example and showed it in his conduct and discipline everyday.
As a flight commander, Vito was fervent in caring for his people. He’d look after their academics, fitness, and conduct, and spared no opportunity to bring the best out of his team.
He led with love, compassion, and an unyielding sense of duty. Vito is an example we should all strive to emulate, and he will live on in memory as a member of the Long Blue Line and as our brother.
To 2nd Lieutenant Vito Valenzuela, here’s a toast…
May his soul rest in perfect peace.