Selso Sanchez
Selso Sanchez

Selso Sanchez

AFRH-G Veteran Highlight – Selso Sanchez
By Lori Kerns, Librarian

Selso Sanchez is one of six children born and raised in Mosquero, NM.  After losing his mother at age 5 and his father at age 15, Selso went to live in Utah with one of his older sisters.  One week before his high school graduation, he and his friends received draft notices.  He decided to join the Navy because he had always liked the uniform.

After boot camp, Selso was sent by plane to Hawaii.  This was the first time he had ever seen an ocean.  His first assignments kept him in the Pacific during WWII as a mine sweeper.  After the war, he was sent to Bikini Atoll aboard a command ship to do two atomic bomb tests.  Eventually he went to radar operator school in Florida and Kansas.  He worked on the USS Bonhomme Richard, the USS Shangri-La, and the USS Coral Sea doing air traffic control from the towers.  His assignments took him all over the world.

Selso remained in the Navy for twenty years (and one day) and kept an extensive log of his entire career, which included dates, duty stations, and many other details.  For his last assignment, he had finally gotten shore duty in Alameda, CA.  With several medals and accommodations under his belt, he decided to retire here.

He began looking at a civilian career in air traffic control.  Because he did not want to deal the strict guidelines, he decided on other work.  Selso ended up working in San Jose, CA as a dispatcher for the police and fire departments.  His new career took him to such cities as Santa Clara, where he became Chief Dispatcher, and Lake Tahoe.  Just like his military career, he kept a log of his interesting work as a dispatcher throughout his entire civilian career.  

Back when he was still in the military, he had met a girl named Theresa.  The couple got married and Selso became a stepfather to Theresa’s two sons.  Besides his two step sons, his family includes many nieces and nephews with whom he still enjoys keeping in touch. 

After Theresa passed away, Selso wrote a letter to the Naval Home in Gulfport to receive information on how to apply.  In 2004, he moved into what was now AFRH-G.  He was in the home for a little over a year when Hurricane Katrina destroyed it.  He relocated with most of the other residents to AFRH-W and returned when AFRH-G reopened in 2010. 

Selso enjoys his time in the home by socializing and joking around with his friends.  He also stays busy by attending many of the social events provided for AFRH-G residents.  Selso says that he has "loved every minute" of living in both homes.  He also loves that the staff "keeps him spoiled."