“Forever Loved, Never Forgotten”
The Navy Gold Star Program is eternally grateful for the sacrifice of those Service Members who have died in service to our country. To help us to never forget, we have set up this tribute page to honor and remember the memory of those lives. If you would like to honor the memory of your Sailor, Soldier, Marine, Airman or Coast Guardsman through the Navy Gold Star website please submit your thoughts and a photo.
Commander Jeffrey Matthew Silvas (April 24, 1955 - February 25, 2007)
Jeff was born on April 24, 1955 in Fresno California, to Bernard and Helen Silvas, the oldest of three children. Jeff was a Boy Scout, and in May of 1970 became an Eagle Scout with troop 23, representing the Knights of Columbus #840 as their first Eagle Scout. He went on to become an explorer. He attended Sacred Heart Catholic Church where he was an alter boy, and Sacred Heart elementary school from K-8. He went on to graduate from McLane High school, then attended Fresno City Collage for several years, but became bored and decided he wanted to travel. This began his lifelong career in the United States Navy. Jeff joined the Navy in January of 1977. He completed recruit training in San Diego Ca. His career spanned over 30 years. He served on many ships to include, the USS Midway, USS Yellowstone, USS Brunswick, USS America, USS El Paso, USS Duluth, USS Constellation, and the USS Bonhomme Richard. Jeff loved to sail the seas. He also served five shore duty tours, M&S Subase, Pearl Harbor Hi., Fleet Training Center, Norfolk VA., Special Boat Unit Twelve, San Diego Ca., Assault Craft Unit Five, Camp Pendelton, Oceanside Ca, and his last Command Amphibious Group 3, San Diego Ca., which required him to occasionally deploy with their group of ships. Jeff crossed over to God while out on the Bonhomme Richard. This was a fitting place as Jeff loved Navy ships and he loved the sea. Jeff was selected for Chief Petty Officer while on board the USS America and was a member of the Chief's mess until Aug. of 1990, when he received his commission as a Limited Duty Officer, a "Mustang", coming up through the ranks. He advanced to the rank of Commander, which he received in June of 2006. The highlight of his career was as the Chief Engineer, or "Chenge" of the USS Bonhomme Richard from Feb. 2004 to Mar. 2006. His personal awards include the Meritorious Service Metal (two awards), Navy Commendation Metal (six awards), The Navy Marine Corps Achievement Metal and various other unit citations and campaign ribbons. Jeff and I were married on Nov. 13, 1981 and we have one son, Keith. Although the "Navy life" can be hard and lonely, Jeff was a master at being a husband, father and sailor. When at home he never missed any of Keith's events and was very involved in Keith's activities. He was the team "dad" for several of Keith's baseball teams and loved to watch his son play. He took us on many trips "home" to see our extended family, and many more camping and fishing trips where we would fish and catch crabs for hours on end. He loved life and loved to play and laugh. It was hard to catch him without that beautiful smile on his face. To know Jeff was to love him, simply put we were blessed to have such a wonderful person in our lives and will never stop missing him. We wish God could have waited.