17
Mar
14

Medal of Honor: A Wrong Put Right

Staff Sergeant Melvin Morris

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On March 18th, 2014, President Barack Obama will award 24 Army veterans the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry.

These veterans will receive the Medal of Honor in recognition of their valor during major combat operations in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

Each of these Soldiers’ bravery was previously recognized by award of the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation’s second highest military award; that award will be upgraded to the Medal of Honor in recognition of their gallantry, intrepidity and heroism above and beyond the call of duty.

In 2002, Congress, through the Defense Authorization Act, called for a review of Jewish American and Hispanic American veteran war records from WWII, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, to ensure those deserving the Medal of Honor were not denied because of prejudice. During the review, records of several Soldiers of neither Jewish nor Hispanic descent were also found to display criteria worthy of the Medal of Honor. The 2002 Act was amended to allow these Soldiers to be honored with the upgrade – in addition to the Jewish and Hispanic American Soldiers.

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The President will award the Medal of Honor to:

Specialist Four Santiago J. Erevia: For his courageous actions while serving as radio telephone operator in Company C, 1st Battalion (Airmobile), 501st Infantry, 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile) during search and clear mission near Tam Ky, Republic of Vietnam.

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Staff Sergeant Melvin Morris: For his courageous actions while serving as Commander of a Strike Force drawn from Company D, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, during combat operations against an armed enemy in the vicinity of Chi Lang, Republic of Vietnam on September 17, 1969.

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Sergeant First Class Jose Rodela: For his courageous actions while serving as the company commander, Detachment B-36, Company A, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces during combat operations against an armed enemy in Phuoc Long Province, Republic of Vietnam on September 1, 1969.

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The President will posthumously award the Medal of Honor to:

Sergeant Candelario Garcia: For his courageous actions while serving as an acting Team Leader for Company B, 1st Battalion, 2d Infantry, 1st Brigade,1st Infantry Division during combat operations against an armed enemy in Lai Khe, Republic of Vietnam on December 8, 1968.

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Specialist Four Leonard L. Alvarado: For his courageous actions while serving as a Rifleman with Company D, 2d Battalion, 12th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) during combat operations against an armed enemy in Phuoc Long Province, Republic of Vietnam on August 12, 1969.

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Staff Sergeant Felix M. Conde-Falcon: For his courageous actions while serving as an acting Platoon Leader in Company D, 1st Battalion, 505th Infantry Regiment, 3d Brigade, 82d Airborne Division during combat operations against an armed enemy in Ap Tan Hoa, Republic of Vietnam on April 4, 1969.

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Specialist Four Ardie R. Copas: For his courageous actions while serving as a Machinegunner in Company C, 1st Battalion (Mechanized), 5th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division during combat operations against an armed enemy near Ph Romeas Hek, Cambodia on May 12, 1970.

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Specialist Four Jesus S. Duran: For his courageous actions while serving as an acting M-60 machinegunner in Company E, 2d Battalion, 5th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) during combat operations against an armed enemy in the Republic of Vietnam on April 10, 1969.

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Corporal Joe R. Baldonado: For his courageous actions while serving as an acting machine gunner in 3d Squad, 2d Platoon, Company B, 187th Airborne Infantry Regiment during combat operations against an armed enemy in Kangdong, Korea on November 25, 1950.

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Corporal Victor H. Espinoza: For his courageous actions while serving as an Acting Rifleman in Company A, 23d Infantry Regiment, 2d Infantry Division during combat operations against an armed enemy in Chorwon, Korea on August 1, 1952.

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Sergeant Eduardo C. Gomez: For his courageous actions while serving with Company I, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division during combat operations against an armed enemy in Tabu-dong, Korea on September 3, 1950.

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Private First Class Leonard M. Kravitz: For his courageous actions while serving as an assistant machinegunner with Company M, 5th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division during combat operations against an armed enemy in Yangpyong, Korea on March 6 and 7, 1951.

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Master Sergeant Juan E. Negron: For his courageous actions while serving as a member of Company L, 65th Infantry Regiment, 3d Infantry Division during combat operations against an armed enemy in Kalma-Eri, Korea on April 28, 1951.

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Master Sergeant Mike C. Pena: For his courageous actions while serving as a member of Company F, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division during combat operations against an armed enemy in Waegwan, Korea, on September 4, 1950.

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Sgt. Ashley Randall will accept a Medal of Honor from President Obama on behalf of her grandfather, former 3rd ID Pvt. Demensio Rivera

Private Demensio Rivera: For his courageous actions while serving as an automatic rifleman with 2d Platoon, Company G, 7th Infantry Regiment, 3d Infantry Division during combat operations against an armed enemy in Changyong-ni, Korea on May 23, 1951.

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Private Miguel A. Vera: For his courageous actions while serving as an automatic rifleman with Company F, 38th Infantry Regiment, 2d Infantry Division in Chorwon, Korea, on September 21, 1952.

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Sergeant Jack Weinstein: For his courageous actions while leading 1st Platoon, Company G, 21st Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division in Kumsong, Korea on October 19, 1951.

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Private Pedro Cano: For his courageous actions while serving with Company C, 8th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division during combat operations against an armed enemy in Schevenhutte, Germany on December 3, 1944.

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Private Joe Gandara: For his courageous actions while serving with Company D, 2d Battalion, 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 17th Airborne Division during combat operations against an armed enemy in Amfreville, France on June 9, 1944.

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Private First Class Salvador J. Lara: For his courageous actions while serving as the Squad Leader of a rifle squad with 2d Platoon, Company L, 180th Infantry, 45th Infantry Division during combat operations against an armed enemy in Aprilia, Italy on May 27 and 28, 1944.

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Sergeant William F. Leonard: For his courageous actions while serving as a Squad Leader in Company C, 30th Infantry Regiment, 3d Infantry Division during combat operations against an armed enemy near St. Die, France on November 7, 1944.

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Staff Sergeant Manuel V. Mendoza: For his courageous actions while serving as a Platoon Sergeant with Company B, 350th Infantry, 88th Infantry Division during combat operations against an armed enemy on Mt. Battaglia, Italy on October 4, 1944.

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Sergeant Alfred B. Nietzel: For his courageous actions while serving as a section leader for Company H, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division during combat operations against an armed enemy in Heistern, Germany on November 18, 1944.

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First Lieutenant Donald K. Schwab: For his courageous actions while serving as the Commander of Company E, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3d Infantry Division, during combat operations against an armed enemy near Lure, France on September 17, 1944.

WH.gov


128 Responses to “Medal of Honor: A Wrong Put Right”


  1. 1 amk for obama
    March 17, 2014 at 10:41 pm

    Fiiinally

  2. 23 vcprezofan2
    March 17, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    Never too late to right a wrong, IMO. Thanks, CC for the pics, tec.

  3. 24 MightyPamela
    March 17, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    The photos of these incredible people above, so brave and so willing to serve. I feel deeply moved to think what they must have experienced. No words. Grateful to PBO for recognizing and honoring their lives of service to us all.

  4. March 17, 2014 at 10:48 pm

    Thanks for posting all of their pics and stories Chips.

  5. 31 desertflower
    March 17, 2014 at 10:50 pm

    He’s put so many wrongs, right…..thank you honorees, thank you, President Obama. Sure to be a moving ceremony tomorrow.

    I missed some news today and I wanted to give a hug to Symmetry for the loss of her mom. I know this sorrow and just know that she’s watching over you.

    To 57Female ..so very happy that you finally have the peace of mind that you deserve! I remember how frustrated you were initially, but that’s over now, you got covered:) Wonderful piece you wrote and shared with us…thank you bunches for that…you can BREATHE!

    Chips…have you been celebrating all day? You’re in trouble now…amk’s awake and he’s feisty!!

  6. 34 desertflower
    March 17, 2014 at 10:57 pm

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/17/us-russia-economy-crisis-idUSBREA2G0RF20140317

    Russian government admits economy in crisis as Ukraine weighs

    Moscow markets wait to see the full scale of western measures over the seizure of Ukraine’s Crimea and support of its referendum to join Russia, after losing billions of dollars in recent weeks in state and corporate money.

    For weeks, Russian officials have said the confrontation between Moscow and the West over Ukraine that threatens economic sanctions and asset freezes would “weigh on the economy”.

    Although not speaking directly about the impact from the conflict, Deputy Economy Minister Sergei Belyakov said on Monday the economy was in trouble.

    “The economic situation shows clear signs of a crisis,” Belyakov told a local business conference.

    European officials have said they are determined to hit Russia for its actions in Crimea, imposing sanctions including travel bans and asset freezes on those responsible. The United States is expected to take similar steps on Monday.

    “People are most afraid of sanctions. Their volume and .. what sanctions there will be and how this will be reflected on the Russian financial system, the economy, the markets and the largest companies,” said Konstantin Chernyshev, head of research at Uralsib in Moscow.

    This is gonna hurt…..

  7. March 17, 2014 at 10:58 pm

    The list of ‘careful, you may get your wish’ is getting longer ….

    … as noted a bit earlier ….

    #TrustBarack …. and don’t mess with Crimean Tatars, they’ve got lots of powerful friends ….

  8. 43 anniebella
    March 17, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    I hope we will be able to see these soldiers get their medals, I will cheer as if I am sitting right there in the WH.

    • 44 anniebella
      March 17, 2014 at 11:02 pm

      Those that are still alive I mean, but I’m sure some family members will be there to receive the medals of the ones who have passed on.

  9. 46 dotster3
    March 17, 2014 at 11:03 pm

    Just wanted to recommend this excellent HBO doc I watched tonight—–Maria Shriver’s Paycheck to Paycheck—-following the tough life of a single mom trying to juggle working full time (at low wages), going to school, raise 3 small kids—–not a penny for anything other than the real bare necessities—-and often not enough for even that. So many millions of moms and millions more children face this struggle every day—living at or below the poverty line. You can watch on utube….

    • 47 MightyPamela
      March 18, 2014 at 12:50 pm

      I have no tv, will probably not see this story, but it is my story, and I am one with the many mothers who bear our fate as well as we are able to. We age in ways others cannot fathom, we pray for grace and for strength.

  10. 48 HZ
    March 17, 2014 at 11:06 pm

    Symmetry, I am late in sharing my deep and loving comfort to you for the loss of your precious mother. I also feel the sorrow because my mother left us ten years nine years and it still seems like yesterday because she was such a precious jewel to us.

    Keep your space open for your moments to cry, think, laugh about the great fun times with her, her loving hugs, her loving words of encouragement, her special smile, her protective voice for her family, her hard work, her helping others, and her special way of always making sure that you were loved way beyond your thoughts. Mothers are so special like that. Live in her sweet light, and never forget the joys of cherish moments that the two of you shared throughout her life her on this earth.

    Be calm with your thoughts, but always be joyful to think of her. It will keep you in a sweet space for your precious mother’s departing. I send my comforting and loving {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{ Hugs for Symmetry}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}} HZ

    • 49 jacquelineoboomer
      March 17, 2014 at 11:27 pm

      Oh, HZ, I had not heard about the loss of Symmetry’s mother. Symmetry, please know you’re in my thoughts. I know how hard it was losing my own mother, and I hope you’ll find some joy in all the good memories.

  11. 50 Bill R.
    March 17, 2014 at 11:11 pm

    Righting these wrongs for the sake of these heroes and for the sake of our country’s conscience is necessary and good, and brings healing all around.

    • 51 HZ
      March 17, 2014 at 11:29 pm

      Bill R., your comment is so powerful. Thank you so much. “and brings healing all around.” So true, Bill R. My heart feels better just from reading your statement. President Barack Obama keeps making these wrongs right. I am so grateful that we were blessed to stop, listen, and go out and work to support this wonderful man as our President of these United States.

      {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{ Thanks to Chips for presenting these brave and honorable service men who gave us so much}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}.

      I love and appreciate you so much for giving us this beautiful haven of space to share, learn, care, support, and respect each other and our president. Your work and loving care for this beautiful place is so appreciated by me. Chips, your souls give off so much loving light to this village. I thank you and I love all that you do for us.

      CarolMae, I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. I just put the date on my phone calendar.{{{{{{{{{{{Comfort to you, CarolMae}}}}}}}}}}

      Hug my grandson for me. {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{ Danny, granny loves you.}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}HZ

  12. March 17, 2014 at 11:13 pm

    The sheer deliciousness of REALITY when it collides with and crushes PROPAGANDA …..

    Timothy Snyder: Freedom in Russian exists only in Ukraine

    In Ukraine, millions of Russian-speakers read a free press and learn from an uncensored internet

    “There is a country where millions of Russian-speakers lack basic rights. That country is the Russian Federation. There is a neighbouring country where tens of millions of Russian-speakers enjoy basic rights — despite the disruptions of a revolution and Russian invasion. That country is Ukraine. As the joke goes, Ukraine is a country where people speak Russian, while Russia is a country where people stay quiet in Russian.

    During his remarks, Khodorkovsky was interrupted by the masses on the Maidan. Ukrainians chanted over and over: “Glory to Russia! Glory to Russia! Glory to Russia!” and “Thank you, thank you, thank you”. They pronounced these words of respect to their Russian guest in the Russian language. Such Ukrainians represent Putin’s real Ukrainian problem: free people who speak freely in Russian, and might set an example one day for Russians themselves.”

    #TrustBarack … he dwells in reality, rather than being a megalomaniac like #TzarVlad & his sidekick #GWBush.

  13. March 17, 2014 at 11:15 pm

    Wonderful tribute, Chips!

  14. 61 desertflower
    March 17, 2014 at 11:24 pm

    Bobfr…if you would indulge me…(you seem to understand/keep up with all that is going on with Crimea/Russia/Ukraine…or resident Go To guy:)

    What did I read about if Crimea is independent than something about Turkey? I have to confess, as much as I try and keep up, I’m more than a little confused about all that is going on there. If Putin declared Crimea independent, isn’t that weird? It’s like his reason for doing what he did there, was a lie.

    Referring to this:
    Retweeted by Jeff Gauvin
    Garry Kasparov ‏@Kasparov63 5h
    Crimean referendum ballot asked if wanted to join Russia. But Putin says Crimea now “independent”!? They even cheat when they are cheating!
    Expand

  15. 67 hopefruit2
    March 17, 2014 at 11:25 pm

    Little Laura is trolling the administration – her nightly habit as of late. She must be getting paid per tweet by some faction…Glad to see she’s getting pushback.

  16. 75 dannystix
    March 17, 2014 at 11:29 pm

    Furst!1

  17. March 17, 2014 at 11:32 pm

    You may see this tweet and wonder ….

    … DM me and I’ll explain. BTW, this ain’t a conspiracy theory in any way.

    bbl … time to prepare some dinner …

  18. 81 jacquelineoboomer
    March 17, 2014 at 11:33 pm

    Oh, Chips, I didn’t expect to come onto the blog tonight to cry. But seeing how respectfully you not only remembered these American heroes – but went to considerable trouble to accomplish a synopsis on them – is much appreciated, and brings a tear to my eye, on behalf of them and their families. So thankful THIS President will have the opportunity to render these honors. Heroes, all.

    • March 17, 2014 at 11:38 pm

      Ah Jacqueline, extraordinary men, extraordinary life stories, tomorrow will be incredibly emotional. Can’t possibly imagine what the experience will be like for the families of the posthumous recipients. And seeing Santiago Erevia, Melvin Morris and Jose Rodela receive their awards from the President will be heart-thumping.

      • 83 jacquelineoboomer
        March 17, 2014 at 11:44 pm

        I hope the recipients don’t faint – I know I would!

        These must be the times when Pres. Obama just wants to go off to a quiet room by himself and sob. He no doubt won’t, but how could he not want to? Love him.

        And then to read 57′s account – wow. All of this has to be included in why we all keep going and will never give up on supporting this President.

        Love ya, Chips!

  19. March 17, 2014 at 11:33 pm
  20. 85 desertflower
    March 17, 2014 at 11:58 pm

    Night all.

  21. March 18, 2014 at 12:11 am

    The Medal of Honor ceremony is at 3:40 EST tomorrow.

  22. 105 amk for obama
    March 18, 2014 at 12:32 am

    Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger and Rafa go to heaven.

    The three of them are sent to the pearly gates of heaven where they have to give a 5 minute talk on why St Peter should support their club.

    Arsene Wenger starts off first and in the end St Peter praises him and says, “By the way, did you remember that time when Eduardo so blatantly and obviously dived in that game?”

    Wenger replies, “I cannot say. Maybe, possibly, I don’t know but I didn’t see it.” This pisses St Peter of a bit, so he sends Arsene back to earth.

    Rafa has his turn, sits down and places a big sealed portfolio with files inside it. He gives St Peter a 5 minute talk on why Liverpool FC is the best club in the world and why he should support them. St Peter interrupts him at 4:50 seconds and asks, “But how can you be so sure Liverpool FC are the best club of the three to support? ”

    Rafa simply says, “St Peter, I’m simply stating the facts.” St Peter doesn’t like the tone of Rafa’s voice, so sends him back to earth too.

    St Peter looks towards Alex Ferguson, who remarks, “5 minutes? Is that all you’re giving me? This is a fucking disgrace…”

  23. 106 amk for obama
    March 18, 2014 at 12:38 am

    Wife: “There’s trouble with the car. It has water in the carburettor.”

    Husband: “Water in the carburettor? That’s plain daft.”

    Wife: “I’m telling you the car has water in the carburettor.”

    Husband: “Don’t be silly, You don’t even know what a carburettor is. Where’s the car?”

    Wife: “In next door’s swimming pool.”

  24. March 18, 2014 at 1:43 am

    More on the ‘be very careful of your wishes’ ….

    #TrustBarack …. or GET PAVED …..

  25. March 18, 2014 at 1:48 am

    Reality is Putin’s very worst enemy ….

    #TrustBarack … to always be ‘reality based.’

    Yes We Can

    good night TOD

  26. 110 Dudette
    March 18, 2014 at 2:43 am

    Hey, it’s still St. Paddy’s Day for a wee bit somewhere, isn’t it! :-)

  27. 111 Dudette
    March 18, 2014 at 2:44 am

    Woot!

  28. 112 Dudette
    March 18, 2014 at 2:45 am

    Meh. [Good for his wife though]

  29. 113 Dudette
    March 18, 2014 at 2:45 am
  30. 114 Dudette
    March 18, 2014 at 2:46 am
  31. 115 Dudette
    March 18, 2014 at 2:49 am

    Some music for our heroes…

  32. 116 Dudette
    March 18, 2014 at 2:57 am
  33. 118 99ts
    March 18, 2014 at 3:03 am

    I was just on one of those websites that insist on having newsmax headlines (guess they get lots of money for showing same). The number one headline

    Third of uninsured refuse to buy Obamacare

    hahahahaha – the delicious joy – so two thirds of the uninsured have bought Obamacare – that is so impressive given the problems with the rollout and the negative publicity. The President & his administration have done a brilliant job – shame some of the Democrats don’t join in with the effort.

  34. 121 Dudette
    March 18, 2014 at 3:26 am
  35. 123 Dudette
    March 18, 2014 at 3:34 am

    Goodnight Friends!

  36. 124 Dudette
    March 18, 2014 at 3:51 am
    • 126 WilTal
      March 18, 2014 at 9:19 am

      Chips, you’re the best. What a magnificent post to honor these veterans…it brought tears to my eyes. Our wonderful President is trying to right the wrong of this country in so many ways (better late than never). Thank you Mr. President and these veterans who so bravely put their lives on the line to serve and protect.

      Thanks again Chips…EXCELLENT!

  37. 127 Nena20409
    March 18, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    This is one of the best Piece ever. This is thread is indeed unbeatable. Job well Done, Chips. Thank you for the RESPECT and Tribute you displayed for all these wonderful Men and Women.

  38. 128 ouapiti
    March 18, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    Thank you so much for this post, Chips! It is so important for us as a country to honor these brave veterans — and the fact that our President has the grace and wisdom to apologize for past prejudices. This is very moving.


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