Guam Delegate Bordallo describes the decorated Colonel and Air Force
retiree as the 'unknown soldier' who entered the Guam political wars
For most political figures, seeking and winning office is a work consuming much of a lifetime, but as the mourners for the late Edward "Eddie" Diego Reyes were reminded Wednesday, he had already accomplished much long before he returned to Guam to seek office with Governor Ricardo "Ricky" Bordallo in 1982.
Reyes had survived the fraught years of World War II on Guam and, while working hard to drive a family business during the post-war times, managed to complete his education and begin a lengthy military career, which included service at both the Pentagon and in the Vietnam War.
But many years away from his native island had left his memory somewhat faded locally, recalled another former Lt. Governor, Madeleine Z. Bordallo in her eulogy for him.
"Lt. Governor Eddie Diego Reyes was a political unknown.He was living off-island and retired from a storied and decorated career in the United States Air Force. His way back home was literally and figuratively a spot on the gubernatorial ticket with Ricky," said Delegate Bordallo, the widow of the former governor.
And Reyes' gamble in retiring from the Air Force after 28 years to join Bordallo on the ticket was successful, as the team went on to defeat incumbent Governor Paul Calvo and his running mate, Peter F. Perez Jr.
Despite suffering defeat in the 1986 election, Reyes did not lose his interest in public service, winning election to the 20th Guam Legislature and in 1994, pursuing another unsuccessful run for Guam governor.