Veterans group honors Pico Rivera student who recorded teacher's anti-military rant

SAN PEDRO, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A student who secretly recorded his teacher going on an anti-military rant in the classroom was honored aboard the U.S.S. Iowa by a veterans group in San Pedro on Saturday.

Victor Quinonez, 17, was wearing a Marines shirt in his El Rancho High School classroom when his teacher, Gregory Salcido, went on a five-minute rant criticizing those who serve in the military.

In the recording, Salcido is heard using expletives about those who serve in the military and their intelligence: "Your freakin' stupid Uncle Louie or whatever. They're dumb- - -ts. They're not high-level thinkers. They're not academic people. They're not intellectual people."

"They're the freaking lowest of our low."

The video quickly went viral and led to protests against Salcido, who also serves as a city council member in the city of Pico Rivera.

American Legion Post 61 honored Quinonez for making the recording. The ceremony was held on the battleship Iowa, which served during World War II, Korea and the Cold War, and is now a military museum.

"I can say myself, the post - we're damn proud of him," said David Demos, first vice commander of the legion post. "And I think every military person would be."

Quinonez said he was gratified for the recognition.

"As a kid I've always seen them as my heroes," he said. "Now they're telling me I'm their hero. It makes me feel really honored."

Quinonez has also been invited to Washington D.C. to visit the White House and the Pentagon. He hopes to join the Marines after graduating.
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