John Fales, Jr. (Age 78)
On Monday, November 26, 2018, of Silver Spring, MD. He served proudly in the United States Marine Corps from 1957-1963 and 1966-1967, in Lebanon and Vietnam. He retired from the Marine Corps in 1967. Blinded in Vietnam, his service did not end there but was just the beginning. After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree from St. John’s University and a Master of Science in Education from Hofstra University, he spent the balance of his life assisting veterans and their families. John impacted the veteran’s community through the Blinded American Veterans Foundation (www.bavf.org) which he co-founded and served as President as well as through his newspaper column, Sgt. Shaft. John retired from government service in 2006 as an Equal Opportunity Specialist with the Corporation for National and Community Service. He touched the lives of countless veterans and Gold Star families and inspired many other veterans to stay engaged to ensure that all active duty service members, veterans and their families received the care and support they earned through service to country.
John’s military decorations include the Purple Heart, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Service Medal, New York State Conspicuous Service Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, and South Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. Other awards include the President’s Medal for Distinguished Service from the Freedom’s Foundation, Outstanding Handicapped Federal Employee and the AMVETS Silver Helmet Award, amongst others.
Most important to John was family. John is survived by his devoted wife of 40 years, Heea Vazirani-Fales; daughters Denise Fales Preskitt, Deepika Harris, Monika Vazirani, Jyotika Vazirani-Ali and husband Nizam; son Ashish Vazirani and wife Deborah; grandchildren Christine, Grant, Victor, Benjamin, Isabella and Tariq as well as his brother Frank Fales. John was predeceased by his daughter Reetika and grandson Jehan, as well as his siblings Bill, Barbara and Robert.
Relatives and friends may call at Collins Funeral Home, 500 University Boulevard West, Silver Spring, MD, (Valet Parking), Friday, December 14, from 3 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. A funeral mass will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, December 15, at the St. Andrew Apostle Catholic Church, 11600 Kemp Mill Road, Silver Spring, MD. A reception will follow the Mass at the National Press Club, from 3:30 to 6 p.m. Interment at Arlington Cemetery will be at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to a charity of your choice or the Blinded American Veterans Foundation.