Vice President Mike Pence honors local serviceman

Palm Springs serviceman honored by...

Vice President Mike Pence honored a local serviceman earlier this week at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Petty Officer 1st class Ralph Ian Salas, a Palm Springs native, was honored by Pence during his speech to hundreds of guests at the base Wednesday evening.

Salas' wife told News Channel 3 he graduated from Palm Springs High School in 2002 and still has a lot of family members that live in the city. 

During Pence's speech, he congratulated Salas for being the first sailor to complete the Space 200 and the Advanced Overhead Infrared Radar Course in Colorado.

"This is a space entrepreneur who is making us all proud," Pence told the audience. 

Pence asked Salas to stand up as the audience gave a roar of applause and cheers.

"I just met Ralph in the operation center and I said, 'I'm hearing good things about you,' and I don't think he believed me... proud of you Ralph, well done, " Pence said.

Salas serves as a missile defense duty operator at the base and is part of a long family tradition of military service, with both his grandfathers serving in the Army and numerous relatives currently serve in the Navy.

"We are very proud and he is proud he is from the beautiful Palm Springs," Salas' wife wrote.

Pence visited the base to "further the Administration's efforts to establish the US Space Force and deliver remarks to the brave men and women serving in our United States Air Force," he wrote in a tweet

Pence departed to San Diego after his speech.

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