Congresswoman Norma Torres

Representing the 35th District of California
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Missing medals arrive for vet

May 28, 2016
In The News

For years, John Latino thought he had received Navy commendations for his service on the USS Independence aircraft carrier during the Jordanian crisis in 1970 and 1971, when the ships’ helicopters were used to evacuate American citizens. 

The Chino resident said he only discovered after he applied for a home loan recently that his service commendations weren’t included in his military records. He called his representative in Congress, Norma Torres, for help in March. 

Rep. Torres’ office learned, as Mr. Latino suspected, that a clerical error was responsible for the omission. Mr. Latino was released from military service Jan. 31, 1971, one day before the commendations were awarded.

After a 46-year delay, Mr. Latino will be presented with the National Defense Service Medal and a Meritorious Unit Commendation Ribbon by Rep. Torres during the annual Memorial Day observance planned for 10 a.m. Monday at the Chino Community Building, 5443 B St. 

Anna Gonzales of Ms. Torres’ staff said a “bureaucratic adjustment” was made and Mr. Latino’s record has been corrected. 

The Memorial Day observance will include a wreath presentation by the Women’s Auxiliary of Chino American Legion Post 299, the lowering of the American flag to half staff, the playing of “Taps,” and a 21-gun salute.