John Ceballos served his country in the Navy from 1964 to 1968 in Vietnam, for which the United States awarded him the National Defense Service Medal and the Vietnam Service Medal. He also received the Vietnam Campaign Medal from the Republic of Vietnam.
From 1972 to 1996, he served in the California National Guard for 10 years with the 2nd Battalion 195th Infantry and another decade with the 1st Battalion 149th Armory. Before retiring as an E-7 Sargent First Class, John was called to active duty for the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles, the Big Sur Fire 1977 and the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake. He was also recognized with countless achievement and good conduct awards while serving in the National Guard.
In civilian life, John worked in an auto body shop for 13 years and then more than 30 years in the insurance industry. While he retired in 2013, John still keeps busy by serving the community. He was a member of the Gilroy Hispanic Chamber of Commerce for 10 years, including serving as president for two years. He also served on the Gilroy Parks and Recreation Commission for one year and the Gilroy Planning Commission for three years, two of which were as chairperson. John also has never missed volunteering for the Gilroy Garlic Festival.
Currently, John serves as Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 6309 and Junior Vice Commander for the VFW’s 12th District.
While born in Hollister, John grew up in Gilroy and raised his family, including 5 children, in the Garlic Capital. When he’s not serving the community, John enjoys working on his 1933 Ford truck, golfing, bowling and cheering on the San Francisco 49ers and Giants.