Sunday 26 May 2024

2024 Assistant Sergeant (R) VGM Juan Gualberto Vallejos-RI 3 at Wireless Ridge


Assistant Sergeant (R) VGM Juan Gualberto Vallejos-RI 3 at Wireless Ridge


                               EDUARDO C. GERDING


“According to my personal experience, I can say that I lost the war, but I won my life. "I lost my right leg on the battlefield to serve my country, but it allowed me to find my way and the Gospel." 10

Pastor y Veterano de Guerra de Malvinas: «Soy un agradecido de la vida» (video)-Cultos. https://cultos.ar/index.php/2023/07/12/pastor-y-veterano-de-guerra-de-malvinas-soy-un-agradecido-de-la-vida-video/



In this article I will describe the traumatic experience of Assistant Sergeant (R) VGM Juan Gualberto Vallejos during the Wireless Ridge Combat, his severe post-Malvinas crisis and his extraordinary power of resilience, born from an epiphany in the middle of the Malvinas peat.

May it be an example for all our young Argentines.


Juan Vallejos was born on July 19, 1956 in Corrientes Capital into a family made up of his parents and 6 more siblings. 9


To orient ourselves, the city San Juan de Vera de las Siete Corrientes has an area slightly larger than Swansea in south Wales and approximately the same number of inhabitants.


Vallejos joins the Army

Vallejos commented that when he introduced himself to his father, saying, “I want to pursue a military career,” he was in his third year at the Technical School Pedro Ferré in Corrientes. ¨I was not doing very well with my studies when I received the response from Cámpo de Mayo to present myself to perform and in 1973 I entered the Argentine Army´s Infantry weapon Non-Commissioned Officers´ school as a corporal.”

In 1975, Vallejos took an improvement course and among 200 participants he qualified in the first places and was invited to access the specialty of military parachutist. After completing the course he was assigned to the airborne unit in Córdoba. At the age of 19 he went to fight in the mount of Tucumán under the command of General Acdel Edgardo Vilas †. 14


“In 1982, when returning from my wedding I prepared myself and went to the Regiment 3 of La Tablada. On April 2nd our units returned to the barracks and we began to equip ourselves as we were going south but no one knew where. On April 11, 1982, after the capture of Malvinas, our unit was mobilized to the south of our country, from El Palomar to Río Gallegos. We arrived that same day and on another plane we left for the Malvinas, arriving around noon.” 2

General Manuel Belgrano Mechanized Infantry Regiment 3



The Battle of Wireless Ridge 3

The complete description of this battle is beyond the scope of the article but it is essential to highlight some points that will help us to understand the environment to which Sergeant Vallejos was exposed. 12

This battle took place on June 13 and 14, 1982 on Wireless Hill east of Isla Soledad, one of the seven strategic hills near Puerto Argentino.


-Battle of Wireless Ridge-Wikipedia-https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Wireless_Ridge




The units involved were: The 7th Mechanized Infantry Regiment, whose commander was Lieutenant Colonel Omar Giménez, the 10th Cavalry Exploration Squadron, the Second Parachute Battalion (2 PARA) and the Blues and Royal with two FV101 Scorpion light tanks and two FV 107 armored vehicles Scimitar as well as artillery support from two batteries of the 29th Royal Artillery Commando Regiment and naval fire support provided by the 114mm caliber guns of the HMS Ambuscade (F172)frigate.


In the softening fire, the British artillery fired 6,000 rounds from their 105mm pieces, and when the paratroopers began their push, they were supported by naval fire and mortars in addition to the 76mm and 30mm guns mounted on the light tanks.

Lieutenant Colonel David Chaundler took over as commander of 2 PARA after the death of Lieutenant Colonel Herbert Jones at the Battle of Green Goose. 5


Second Parachute Battalion (2 PARA)

The 3rd Regiment would play a very important role in the battle, with Captain Rubén Oscar Zunino's †Company A counterattacking at Wireless Ridge, and Captain Ramón Alberto Varela's Company C taking up new defensive positions near the soccer field, just outside the capital, while Company B of First Lieutenant Miguel Luis Delledone still maintained its positions off the beaches south of Port Stanley.



During the British bombardment, the action of Captain Guillermo Grau of the 7th Regiment stands out, who with a Mercedes Benz jeep moved through the battered areas, evacuating the seriously injured soldiers. Despite the deadly enemy fire, Major Hugo Alberto Pérez Cometto remained among the mortar conscripts until the end of the defense of the 7th Regiment.


Major Philip Neame's final assault

Major Philip Neame's D Company began the final assault from the western edge of Wireless Ridge.

Neame said:


The main thing about Wireless Ridge was that we were the

only company in the whole of that battle that actually had

to assault in the face of organized opposition. We actually

carried out three separate company attacks in that one

 night. While waiting to attack our first position, the

inevitable bit of farce came right on cue. We could barely

identify the objective, and one or two people had doubts if

we were facing the right way.


Major Neame's men took the first half of the objective after a tough fight against a communications platoon under the command of Second Lieutenant Jorge Alberto Guidobono reinforced by a platoon of Argentine paratroopers under the command of Second Lieutenant Gustavo Alberto Aimar of the Airborne Infantry Regiment 2 General Balcarce.


British military historian Martin Middlebrook would write of the action:


This time the Argentines resisted and fought well and there was a fierce battle for the last part of Wireless Ridge... D Company almost lost the desire to continue fighting.



Lieutenant Colonel Víctor Hugo Rodríguez, head of the first section of Company A of the 3rd Infantry Regiment, led one of the last Argentine counterattacks against a group of Company D of the 2nd Para, commanded by Philip Neame. The latter created a foundation that is dedicated to taking armed forces cadets on excursions to Everest and the Himalayas. Rodríguez organizes the crossing of the Andes with an association he founded. Forty years later they met face to face and recounted their episode in two books: Penal Company of the Falklands. A memoir of the parachute regiment at war 1982 and Llevando la patria al hombro (Carrying the country on the shoulder). 11


Former paratrooper Tony Banks, author of the book Storming the Falklands: My war and after, wrote:

¨As we began to move along the ridge, a scene from Star Wars erupted with tracer bullets flying everywhere. We were facing well-armed, well-disciplined and highly motivated enemy soldiers in good positions¨ 3



Tony Banks traveled to Buenos Aires especially to return his trumpet and sheet music to Rene Omar Tabarez who, at the age of 19, was in the Malvinas as Order Cornet of the Chief of Regiment No. 25 of the Sarmiento Company of Chubut. The meeting: The warmth and emotionality of the hug between the soldiers could only be surpassed by the moment in which the leather case carrying the precious loot was opened. Omar only managed to say: "I appreciate the gesture of brotherhood of giving me back my companion who has been absent for 28 years." Tony responded: "We are both soldiers, and soldiers respect each other, we are human beings, the war is over, but we both have mental battles to fight." Banks said: "I was in the Malvinas in January. Before I went I spoke with specialists who supervised to people who have emotional problems to know how people react when they go to the islands. I thought it was going to be very sad but it was an enlightenment, a way to find God. It was like taking a weight off my shoulders. It is the final stage ¨  7


Second Lieutenant Darío Alejandro Selser with his Section of the 7th Infantry Regiment were the last Argentine soldiers in the Malvinas to surrender.



For bravery displayed at Wireless Ridge, 2 Para was awarded three Military Crosses, a Military Medal and a Distinguished Conduct Medal. The 29th Commando received a Military Cross.

Philip Neame was Mentioned in Despatches. Major Guillermo Rubén Berazay would obtain "The Argentine Nation for Valor in Combat" for his conduct in preparing the street-by-street defense of Puerto Argentino.


The casualties

The Argentines had 25 dead and 125 wounded. The British had 3 dead and 11 wounded (including 3 SAS/SBS ​​commandos and 6 members of 3 PARA), 4 mortarmen with broken ankles and 4 assault boats destroyed. 3


Vallejos in the Malvinas Conflict

In Malvinas, Juan Gualberto Vallejos was part of the Mechanized Infantry Regiment No. 3 where he held the position of Group Leader, and had a troop of 11 soldiers at his disposal.

 “I fought for 67 days on the islands: from April 11 to June 14, 1982, when enemy fire hit me. As a result of that I lost my leg. The combat was on Wireless Ridge, near Puerto Argentino.During an attack maneuver on the English troops I was wounded in my right leg. That injury compromised the femoral bone of my leg and left me unconscious for a period of four hours in the intense cold. My partner José Ramírez applied a tourniquet to me at the scene and then I was taken to the Argentine hospital on the island. There they tried to rescue my leg, but it was not possible and I suffered the amputation.” 10


In the midst of the conflict Vallejos sought answers to his

questions and found them in Psalm 121: I will lift up mine

eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help

cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. 2

The injury

¨The rifle bullet I received cut my femoral artery and crossed the center of my knee, it was like an electric shock. Instantly I felt I was short of breath and Comrade José Ramírez helped me in complete darkness. I asked him to make a tourniquet for me with my handkerchief and then I lost consciousness. It was the night of the greatest combat in the Malvinas, the last, June 13, 1982. The temperature was 17 degrees below zero, snow falling around, with vomiting, dying and chills. As best I could, I asked him to get me out of there, I saw that he left and I lost consciousness again¨

Femoral artery

Geisel School of Medicine at Darmouth-Department of Medical Education.



The spiritual experience

¨I had the sensation that my soul was detaching itself from my body and I found myself moving through a very dark place and I heard a voice that told me: 'This is what you have done until today'. Then I saw the movie of my life and it was no good, even though I received the holy communion, I was an altar boy, I loved my parents, I got married in church, I was willing to give my life for my country. It took me years to understand.” 2,13


Marriage crisis

“One day I asked my wife, what does it feel like to walk with two feet because I lost that feeling and yet I don't feel myself less than anyone.”

My wife left me one day in 1986; I asked her not to abandon me, but our relationship was torn apart by what I myself had contributed to the bad. I realized I was losing what I had never thought about and it never came back.

At that time I worked at the Terrabussi factory. Broken to pieces, I went to Corrientes. By then I had suffered everything: the mutilation and psychiatric problems. People said to me: 'poor Juancito, besides what is happening to him, his wife abandoned him.'

But what I didn't realize was that I had to look at God who loves us and planned our lives before the creation of the world, knows us and knows where we are going, knows the dreams, the pain and the lack of forgiveness." 2



“A meeting was held in Corrientes, in my grandparents' field, where they began to praise God but I didn't want to know anything about it. However, in that place God appeared and I cried like never before in my life because I was worse than when I saw that movie of my life. God forgave me and made me forgive even the one who had abandoned me because I understood that everything was because of the bad things I had sown.

God saved me and made me a new person, he took away my military arrogance, pride and vanity. I used to be like that, I wanted to be the best of all, the best paratrooper, commando and soldier, but a rifle shot made me fall.

When my wife left me I felt great pain and I couldn't sleep entire nights thinking about what man would she be with. "I didn't want to live anymore and, in that circumstance God entered my life to renew me." 2

“Then came the divorce. I started going to a church and I met a young woman whom I married in 1991 and I think I learned my lesson because the Lord gave me a new opportunity by giving me a beautiful wife and three children.


Women are beautiful, but none like her, because God taught me to love her, value her and honor her every day of my life, not to raise my hand to her, to respect her, because everything is possible in her name." 2


Note: 1,4

The most painful experience of military personnel abandoned by their wives, whatever the cause, has been widely studied in psychiatry and, in fact, the acronym SWIRL is used to describe its transitional stages: Shattering (the sensation of destroyed), Withdrawal, Internalizing, Rage, and Lifting.

In the last stage (Lifting), anger helps to externalize the pain and, as the energy bubbles outward, lifts the patient back to life. The patient begins to let it go. Life distracts him and gradually takes him out of grief. Feels the emergence of a wiser strength for the painful lessons learned. Immersed in the recovery process the patient prepares to Love again.



-Azambuyo, Ceferino-Charla motivadora de Veterano de Malvinas-Mirador-234/03/24.


Vallejos has given talks throughout Argentine territory and even in Mercosur countries, carrying a message of improvement and resilience, instilling values ​​in young people and the importance of family as support in childhood and adolescence. 2


 “I was 25 years old when the conflict happened, and thanks to my family I managed to learn the Gospel and the message that God has for me, which allowed me to overcome psychological, social and emotional problems, put aside resentment and be able to preach. the Word of the Lord” 10


“I am going to tell the story with my truth, which is tough. I don't know what you came to hear, but I have the feeling that God is going to speak to your heart because I have done many things in my life and they have affected many people for the worse, but in time God in his infinite mercy corrected me and gave me a new purpose for myself and one of them is precisely to visit different cities, provinces and neighboring nations such as Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay, spreading this message.” 2

"There was a before and after of Malvinas. When I returned to the continent I underwent psychiatric treatment, and in '86 I was abandoned by my partner and then I hit rock bottom. It was very difficult but for God nothing is impossible because my life began to be transformed from having a personal encounter with Jesus Christ. 9


Religion and Resilience

This topic has been addressed by the French neurologist, psychiatrist and ethologist Boris Cyrulnik, author of the book Psychotherapy of God: Faith as Resilience. Since 1966, Cyrulnik has been Director of Studies at the Faculty of Human Sciences of the University of Sud-Toulon. His work has allowed him to develop the concept of resilience as a rebirth of suffering.

In his book he relates that a minority of living skeletons (from a concentration camp) who before the deportation had never cared about God, suddenly discovered it: Suddenly I knew that God existed.

The discovery of God is experienced as an authentic, clear and irrefutable certainty.

The universal God, as felt by most human beings, manifests itself through a sense of euphoria that lifts us to the sky above us. According to people and cultures, this feeling is called "superior force", "guardian angel" or "God who governs our soul", and it tears us away from the immanence of here below. 6


At present

Currently, in addition to being a pastor of an Evangelical church, since 2006, Juan Gualberto Vallejos works at the Generation of Heroes Foundation (in Paso de los Libres), which provides help to children with different abilities, single mothers, street children, the elderly, etc. 8


Veterano de Malvinas visito el Instituto de Formación Penitenciaria-Mendoza Penitenciaria-18 de agosto 2022.





  my body I carry the virile wound of combat, but I wear it with great pride" 9


Assistant Sergeant (R) War Veteran Juan Gualberto Vallejos with Medical Colonel James Michael Ryan MB, OBE War Veteran traumatologist who was aboard the RFA Sir Galahad during the Argentine attack on Bluff Cove on June 8th, 1981. (Kindly submitted by Medical Col. James Ryan).


Military Health Conferences about Malvinas which took place at the Argentine 

Central Army Hospital ¨Major Surgeon Dr. Cosme Argerich¨-2016.  (Kindly Submited by Medical Colonel James Michael Ryan MB, OBE War Veteran )






1-Anderson, Susan-SWIRL, the Five Stages of Abandonment.


2-Azambuyo, Ceferino-Charla motivadora de Veterano de Malvinas-Mirador-234/03/24.


3-Battle of Wireless Ridge-Wikipedia-


4-Brito, Janet PhD-Shocked that your spouse left? Here´s how to recover.PyschCentral.October 21,2022.


5-Chaundler, David Brig-A Commanding officer’s account of the Battle of Wireless Ridge by Brigadier David Chaundler OBE, formerly Lt Col and CO OF 2 PARA.The Battle for Wireless Ridge.Airborn Assault ParaData-


6-Cyrulnik, Boris- Psicoterapia de Dios: La fe como resiliencia. Editorial Gedisa ( Barcelona) (titulo original en francés Psychoterápie de Dieu, Odile Jacob 2017).

7-Devolución de un botín de guerra-Zona Militar-5 de julio 2010.


8-Fundación Generación de Héroes.


9-La lucha de un veterano de guerra por reivindicar la ¨heroica gesta¨ de Malvinas-El Once-1 de Abril de 2016.


10-Pastor y Veterano de Guerra de Malvinas: «Soy un agradecido de la vida» (video)-Cultos.


11-Pignatelli, Adrián-Estuvieron enfrentados a muerte en la guerra de Malvinas y 40 años después presentaron juntos sus libros-INFOBAE-25 Sep 2022.


12-Pignatelli, Adrián-Una misión suicida y el infierno en Wireless Ridge: el contraataque a todo o nada en el último día de la guerra. INFOBAE-13 de junio 2022.


13-Veterano de Malvinas visito el Instituto de Formación Penitenciaria-Mendoza Penitenciaria-18 de agosto 2022.


14-Yofre, Juan Bautista Tata. El combate de Famaillá: del ascenso del general Acdel Vilas bajo las órdenes de Isabel Perón al fin del ERP en Tucumán.INFOBAE,19 de Mayo 2024-