John Vela,
Board Member, NVVMF

John was born and raised in Omaha, NE. He joined the Marine Corps “Delayed Entry” program in February 1980 while still a junior at Archbishop Ryan High School. Upon early graduation on April 30, 1981, he departed for Marine Corps boot camp in San Diego CA. John applied for and was selected to become an officer through the Marine Corps Enlisted Commissioning Educational Program after 7 years in the Corps. He suffered a career-ending ankle injury during Officer’s Candidate School and was medically discharged from the Marine Corps in 1991 after 10 years of exemplary service. As a Marine, John saw action in Grenada and Beirut where he was awarded the Air Medal and Navy Commendation (with Valor). John has 2 sons, both of whom became Marines; one served in Iraq and the other in Afghanistan. John is a life member of the VFW and the American Legion where he continues to serve his country, community, and his fellow veterans.

“I feel it a national shame that Vietnam veterans were treated the way they were when they came home after serving their country. I want to do all I can to try in any way I am capable to make up for that.”

John Vela,

Board Member, NVVMF

John Vela Headshot_3_2022_750x665

Quick Facts

  • Service BranchMarine Corps
  • HometownOmaha
  • Home CountyDouglas County


Learn more about our other board members

Shopping Basket