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Salvador Diaz Jr.


Sal launched Project Always Beside You to help Active Military Dog Handlers, K9's, Veterans and their families when they experience unexpected hardships. A Marine Veteran himself and the loss of his son to Operation Enduring Freedom, in 2011, prompted Sal to bring hope to those in need. Sal is an active member of Auxiliary Post 8919 and a volunteer at the Veterans Stand Down. An event that provides food, clothing, and health screenings to homeless and at-risk Veterans. Sal's professional career has been in sales and rentals of construction equipment. He is currently Branch Manager of Wagner Rents, a division of Wagner Equipment in El Paso TX.


Bruce Vilches

Vice President

Bruce's passion for "Always Beside You" has been growing for years. The Diaz and Vilches children grew up together through the Marine JrROTC in Albuquerque, New Mexico and our close friendship continues today. The Diaz family sponsored an annual dog handler competition in the memory of SSGT Christopher Diaz, where Bruce met several dog handlers-active duty and veterans. Most of the veteran dog handlers were suffering from PTSD, and this annual event helped them cope, share and build positive experiences with others. This is just one of the ways that "Always Beside You" helps people and makes connections to see where more help can be given. Bruce's professional career has been in commercial construction and manufacturing operations for 40 years. He is currently the Director of Continuous Improvement at Relevate Consulting, in Chandler, Arizona.


Sandra Diaz


Sandra grew up in El Paso, Texas. She is a wife, mother of three, and a grandmother of five. She dedicated her life to the corporate world as an accountant, claim analyst, and a medical office assistant. Two of her sons went on to defend their country with the United States Marine Corps, and earned her the title of a "Blue Star Mother". Her third son went on to defend his country within the Federal Government. In 2011, she transitioned from a "Blue Star Mother" to a "Gold Star Mother", after her son, SSGT Christopher Diaz was KIA in Afghanistan. With the loss of her son, they adopted Chris's dog, "Dino". Dino taught them the sacrifice and needs of assistance that Veteran canines deserve when returning stateside. This inspired Diaz family to begin, "Project Always Beside You", In honor of Dino who helped them cope with the loss of our son, SSGT Diaz. Sandra has made it her mission to support organizations that help our Veterans and their K9 counterparts. She is a proud member of the VFW 8919 Women's Auxiliary, providing support for Veterans and family members of the fallen. In 2018, she joined operation "Stand Down", which is held annually, providing medical care, clothing, food, and government assistance for Homeless Veterans.

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