Ermelindo Puente served two years in the United States Army and was stationed in Vietnam. He received numerous honors, including the Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Army NCO Professional Development Ribbon, and the Army Service Ribbon.
As a veteran, he is a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 6309, where he volunteers to work weekly bingo nights. Ermelindo is also a life member of the American Legion Post 217. He also participates in the local Color Guard.
This Gilroy native retired after nearly 36 years working for the Santa Clara County Roads Department. As an active community member, Ermelindo has served the City of Gilroy in many capacities, including on the Planning Commission for 17 years, the Parks and Recreation Commission for 13 years, as a volunteer fireman for six years and a reserve police officer for one year.
He also has dedicated countless hours to Gilroy’s youth by volunteering for the Gilroy Youth Task Force, little league baseball, the soccer league, Gilroy’s Future Farmers of America, and Gilroy High School football and golf teams. He’s also served as director of the Gilroy Hispaic an active member of Knights of Columbus, Gilroy Downtown Committee and volunteered at the Gilroy Garlic Festival for 30 years.
He and his wife of 44 years have 3 children and 6 grandchildren. When he’s not spending time with family he enjoys cycling and helping seniors.