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Local WWII veteran, firefighter buried Thursday

Posted at 11:05 AM, May 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-16 12:05:24-04

A Coastal Bend veteran and history-making Corpus Christi firefighter was laid to rest Thursday at the Coastal Bend State Veterans Cemetery.

Luis Valls was a 29-year veteran of the Corpus Christi Fire Department, and a World War II veteran, having enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1945 at 17, according to his son, John.

"He served in the Pacific theatre, and then he served again during the Korean War," he said. "He didn't really share a whole lot of stories about his military service."

Luis Valls lost his older brother fighting in the European theatre during World War II. Robert, who was in the U.S. Army, was 19.

"Mainly, when he would talk about the military — typically in the Second World War — he would talk about his brother," John Valls said. "He had an older brother by two years, my uncle Robert."

John Valls said his father was "fiercely devoted to my mother," Olga, who died three weeks prior.

"That shows you what a love story that was," he said. "They were married 64 years, and she, sadly, passed away, like I said. But he couldn't wait to get there."

Luis received numerous recognitions during his time with the fire department, John Valls said.

"He was decorated twice for valor, uh, going above and beyond the call of duty at the fire department," he said. "He made the first ambulance call for the uniformed EMT/ambulance program."

"He's just, uh, an inspiration to me that he was this old and still carried himself very proudly," said one funeralgoer.

KRIS 6 News chief photographer Michael Salazar contributed to this story.