SFC (Ret.) Juan R. Hernandez, 82, husband of Maria Hernandez, passed away 22 September, 2020 at his home. Born September 26, 1937, in Crystal City and raised in Harlingen, Texas. He was the son of the late Agustin and Ignacia Hernandez. Juan and Maria celebrated 59 years of marriage in January 2020.
In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his two daughters, Rita Ann and Vanessa Marie, Jesse Hernandez (brother), Jose Hernandez (brother), Luis Salas (brother), Jessie Hernandez (half-brother) and Mary Vicker (half-sister). Surviving in addition to his wife, Maria (Rodriguez) Hernandez, are his sons Augustin Hernandez (Ann Little) of Huntsville, Alabama; Juan R. Hernandez Jr. (Grace Cortez) of Portland, Texas; Antonio J. Hernandez (Nicol Buhidar) of Portland, Texas; Carlos R. Hernandez of Seguin, Texas; eight grandchildren, Jayson Mendez, Rita Christine (Hernandez) Munna, Sutton Hernandez, Jovanna N. Hernandez, Jennifer C. Hernandez, Jessica A. Hernandez, Brandon Hernandez, Joshua Hernandez, and six great-grandchildren Reyana A. Mendez, Alexander Clemens, Gabriel Clemens, Jayson Mendez Jr., Lilly F. Munna, Kealohalani G. L. Elderts. Half- brothers and sister; Max Hernandez of Seminole, Texas; Angie Hernandez of Bakersfield, CA; and Betty Land of Cimarron, KS.
Juan enlisted in the U.S. Army on July 20 1956, where he faithfully and honorably served until he retired on January 31, 1977. During his military career, he served in various military occupational specialties to include; Armor Crewman, Light Weapons Infantryman, First Cook, Assistant Mess Steward, Mess Steward, Food Service Specialist and Dining Facility Supervisor.
Juan was assigned to the following units during his career;
Co I 3d Bn 11th Armd Cav Regt
HqCo 2d MedTkBn 37th Armor
Co D 3d MedTkBn 34th Armor
HqTrp 1st ReconSq 16th Cav
HqCo 1st Brigade Combat Team Regt
H Trp 2d Armd Cav
VIII US Army Corps
HowBtry 2ndSq 2d Armd Cav
HHC 1Bn 61 Inf
Btry C 1st Bn 94th Arty
HHC 2d Bn 60th Inf 9th Inf Div
Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV-42)
BCo 97th Quartermaster Battalion
7th Air Defense Artillery Regiment Unit
Juan served two 1-year tours in Vietnam (68/01/31-69/01/31 and 69/05/04-70/05/03) as an Infantryman/Food Service Specialist. Campaigns he was involved in: VN Counter Offensive Phase II, VN Counter Offensive Phase III, TET 69 Counter Offensive, Vietnam Summer Fall 1969, Vietnam Winter-Spring 1970 and Sanctuary Counteroffensive. He was also a member of the 11th Armored Calvary Boxing team 1957-1958 and the “The Eminent Society of Border Legionnaires” April 1958.
In honor of Juan’s service to his country, he was awarded the Purple Heart (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Army Commendation Medal, Good Conduct Medal (4th Award), National Defense Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation (with Bronze Palm), Combat Infantry Badge and the Expert Badge Rifle (M-16).
After his military career, Juan retired to Portland, Texas and in 1977, he was selected for a job at the Corpus Christi Army Depot (CCAD) and worked there as a Warehouse Worker (Fork-lift Operator)/Aircraft Engine Repairer for 20 years. In this new chapter of his life he accumulated long time friendships at CCAD and Portland. In his spare time, he was an active volunteer at Our Lady of Mount Carmel for the St. Vincent de Paul, commissioned as a Special Minister of the Eucharist from April 1984-April 1987, Life member of VFW 2932, member of the American GI Forum and a member of the Knights of Columbus. He enjoyed spending a significant amount of time with his fellow Vietnam Veteran’s; Joe Trevino, Rudy Ramirez, Tony Ramirez and Eddie Ramirez talking about their experiences in Vietnam.
Visitation will be held from 12:00pm - 6:00pm with a Rosary at 6:00pm on Thursday September 24, 2020 at Limbaugh Funeral Home, 500 Wildcat Dr., Portland, Texas. A Mass will be held at 10:00am, September 25, 2020 at Our Lady of Mount Carmel, 1008 Austin St., Portland, Texas. Interment will be held at 2:00 pm September 25, 2020 at Coastal Bend State Veterans Cemetery, 9974 IH 37 Access Road, Corpus Christi, Texas. In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations please be made in Juan’s honor to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, 1008 Austin St., Portland, Texas.
Please visit the “Life Remembered Story of Juan R. Hernandez” at www.limbaughfuneralhome.com where tributes and condolences may be left for the family.
“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God such men lived.”
– General George S. Patton, U.S. Army
Until we meet again in the clouds of heaven,
rest easy Dad.