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May 20, 2021

Aguilar to Hold Medal Presentation Ceremony for Inland Empire Vietnam Veteran

On Monday, May 24, 2021, Congressman Pete Aguilar will award 13 combat medals to John Kerins, a Vietnam War veteran who resides in Fontana. The medals, including the Bronze Star, were earned for heroic service during the conflict in Vietnam but were never awarded. After advocating on behalf of Mr. Kerins, Aguilar’s office was able to secure the medals from the Department of the Army to be formally awarded to Mr. Kerins for the first time.


WHO:                         Congressman Pete Aguilar, Vietnam Combat Veteran John Kerins, Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Commander Jose Mendoza


WHAT:                      Formal Medal Presentation Ceremony                                                                      


WHERE:                   Disabled American Veterans, Chapter 12, 2501 Pacific St, San Bernardino, CA 92404


WHEN:                      Monday, May 24th from 11:00AM to 12:00PM


John Kerins was drafted into the Army in 1966. He attended his Basic Combat Training at Fort Knox, KY, and his Advanced Individual Training to become a Gunner at Fort Gordon, GA. Then, he attended and graduated from Airborne School at Fort Benning, GA. In 1967, after completing his training he was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division in Fort Bragg, NC. Due to operational needs, he was then reassigned to the 101st Airborne Division and deployed to Vietnam in October 1967 to September of 1968. During his Vietnam Tour, he served at A Shau Valley, Chu Lai, Laos, and Cambodia. In his tour of duty, he engaged in direct combat with the enemy on multiple occasions and suffered a shrapnel wound because of those actions. He now resides in Fontana, CA with his family.


The Medals to be presented are as follows:


  • Bronze Star Medal
  • 2 Army Commendation Medals/One with “V” Device
  • Army Good Conduct Medal
  • National Defense Service Medal
  • Vietnam Service Medal with Four Bronze Service Stars
  • Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm Unit Citation
  • Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with Device (1960)
  • Republic of Vietnam Civil Actions Honor Medal with First Class Unit Citation
  • Parachutist Badge
  • Expert Qualification Badge w/Machine Gun Bar
  • Sharpshooter Marksmanship Qualification Badge with Automatic Rifle Bar
  • Marksman Marksmanship Qualification Badge with Rifle Bar


In addition, Congressman Aguilar will award six Vietnam Veteran Lapel Pins to DAV Members who served in the Vietnam War.