Make a Donation to the 1st Marine Division Association:



Join the Marine Division Association




Our Office Has Moved!

New headquarters, Building 1132 aboard Camp Pendleton:

FMDA Headquarters main line with voice mail:
(760) 763-3268

FMDA Mailing Address:

USPS Only (First Class Mail, Priority, Express, etc...)
First Marine Division Association
P.O. Box 9000, Box #902
Oceanside, CA 92051

All Other Carriers (UPS, FedEx, DHL, etc...)
First Marine Division Association
15101 Building - The UPS Store - Box #902
Camp Pendleton, CA 92055

FMDA Headquarters Hours of Operation:
Monday - Friday 0800 - 1600
Saturday - Closed
Sunday - Closed


Semper Fi
Always Faithful
SGT Vince Rios USMC
Marine patch

SGT. Vincent Rios US Marine Corps

Awarded with three Purple Hearts and two Bronze Stars with “v” devices for heroic achievement and meritorious service for his service in Vietnam.

On February 6, 1969, six days before the end of his second tour in Vietnam, Acting Platoon Commander, Marine SGT Vince Rios, was on patrol over a mile-long rice paddy. He was to advance his company’s position in an area he knew was heavily mined due to previous experiences.  SGT Rios stopped the platoon and advanced to speak with his point man.

He set off an enemy explosive device which immediately vaporized both his legs, left his right arm dangling from his shoulder, and partially amputated his left index and ring fingers.

Vincent spent ten months in military hospitals recovering from his injuries.  His treatment was three-pronged, consisting of physical therapy, surgeries to close and later graft wounds, and occupational therapy.  Interestingly Vincent was told by the military doctors that he would never walk again because of the grievous nature of his injuries.

He did not accept that he would never walk again and, using his considerable initiative and tremendous persistence, he devised a new concept for his prosthetic right arm and crutch that allowed him to stand and walk within ten months of the loss of both his legs and right arm.  He daily utilizes his self–designed prostheses and crutch to stand from his wheelchair and walk.

In the effort to rebuild his life Vincent dedicated himself to obtain an education and work to serve veterans.  He earned four college degrees.  He has an A.A. degree in Behavioral Sciences, a B.A. in Psychology, a M.A. in interdisciplinary Social Science, and a M.A. in Public Administration.

Pictured below:

April 1969 at Oak Knoll Naval Hospital SGT Vince Rios receiving his 2nd Bronze Star and 3rd Purple Heart.

Vincent has worked tirelessly in service to his fellow veterans.

He was appointed in 1989 as the Assistant Regional Administrator, Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Service.  Regions IX and X, till his retirement in July 2001.  In this capacity he helped track regional veterans’ programs and how federal monies are spent by the states for veterans programs.  He then was recruited by the Association for Service Disabled Veterans to serve as the Director of Development, and the Western Region Representative for the Washington Based POW Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Advocacy Group.

Pictured above is Vince Rios and his wife Cheryl.  Vince and his wife Cheryl met at Diamond Hill Junior High School in Fort Worth, Texas.  Years later they connected again and were married in 1993.  They have 5 children and six grandchildren between them.  Vince and Cheryl make their home in Haslet, Texas.

Vince and Cheryl - October 1960

Sgt. Vince Rios has received the following awards for his service:

Bronze Star with “V” and star devices (two awards)
Purple Heart with star devices (three awards)
Presidential Unit Citation with star device (two awards)
Meritorious Unit Commendations with star deice (two awards)
Navy Unit Commendation
National Defense Service Medal
Combat Action Ribbon
Good Conduct Medal
Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm

Vietnam Service Ribbon with star devices (four awards)

copyright © 2012-2017 1st Marine Division Association