Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army National Guard Veteran John R. D’Araujo Jr., who served during the Vietnam War.
John R. D’Araujo Jr. was born in 1943 in Pepeekeo, Hawaii, a small town on the Big Island. He graduated from St. Joseph High School and later earned a bachelor’s in political science from the State University of New York. D’Araujo enlisted in the Hawaii National Guard in 1960.
In 1963, D’Araujo was commissioned a second lieutenant after completing officer candidate school. He was assigned to the 29th Infantry Brigade as the executive officer for Battery B, 1st Battalion, 298th Artillery Group, which was a Nike Hercules air defense battery – an assignment that involved working with surface-to-air-missiles. The Hawaii National Guard’s 298th Artillery Group was the first National Guard unit to adopt the Nike Hercules missile, becoming operational on-site in early 1960. This artillery group was very successful and recorded the longest interception of a target by a Nike Hercules missile.
In 1969, D’Araujo was sent to the Mekong Delta in Vietnam for nine months and was assigned as the commander of a mobile advisory team. When he returned to Hawaii, he was assigned as the tactical operations officer for the 298th Artillery Group. During the next few years, D’Araujo worked in logistics and supply, intelligence, and operations and training.
In 1978, D’Araujo was made the commander of the Hawaii National Guard Troop Command. He graduated from the Army War College in 1980 and was promoted to colonel in 1981. He then assumed the duties of the U.S. property and fiscal officer for the Guam National Guard. He later became the senior Army National Guard advisor to the commanding general of the U.S. Mobilization and Readiness Region III and completed two assignments in Washington, D.C., at the National Guard Bureau. In 1987, D’Araujo was appointed as the assistant adjutant general of the Hawaii Army National Guard, and in 1993, he became the director of the Army National Guard.
D’Araujo retired in 1996 after completing 32 years of service. He was a high-ranking Filipino American in the military and received many awards, including a Legion of Merit, a Bronze Star Medal and a Meritorious Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters. In 2001, D’Araujo was appointed to the position of assistant director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) by President Bush, working in the office of response and recovery. He has also worked in consulting. He is married with two children.
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Veterans History Project
This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at http://www.loc.gov/vets/.
Writer: Kimberly Kassis
Editors: Theresa Lyon, Annabelle Colton
Researchers: Giacomo Ferrari, Patrick E. Woods
Graphic artist: Kiki Kelley