24 Heroes To Be Awarded Medal Of Honor

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By Debbie Gregory.

The Medal of Honor is the highest honor awarded to members of the U.S. Military. Historically, it has been given to soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen who have distinguished themselves conspicuously by gallantry above and beyond the call of duty. This gallantry would be exhibited while engaging in an action against an enemy of the United States, engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force, or while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force.

On March 18th, 2014, President Obama will be awarding 24 Army Veterans with the Medal of Honor for their brave and valiant acts during World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. The 24 awardees were previously awarded with the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation’s second highest military award. Many felt that these men, among others, were denied the nation’s highest honor, due to prejudice against their race and ethnicity. But now, their heroism will finally be fully recognized.  Their awards will be upgraded to the Medal of Honor.

The Medal of Honor will be awarded to:

  • Sgt. Candelario Garcia, born in Corsicana, TX, for courageous actions during combat operations in Lai Khe, South Vietnam, on Dec. 8, 1968.
  • Spc. 4 Leonard L. Alvarado, born in Bakersfield, CA, died during combat operations in Phuoc Long province, South Vietnam, on Aug. 12, 1969.
  • Staff Sgt. Felix M. Conde-Falcon, born in Juncos, Puerto Rico, killed during combat operations in Ap Tan Hoa, South Vietnam, on April 4, 1969.
  • Spc. 4 Ardie R. Copas of Fort Pierce, FL. killed during combat operations near Ph Romeas Hek, Cambodia, on May 12, 1970.
  • Spc. 4 Jesus S. Duran of San Bernardino, CA, for courageous actions during combat operations in South Vietnam on April 10, 1969.
  • Cpl. Joe R. Baldonado, born in Colorado, killed during combat operations in Kangdong, North Korea, on Nov. 25, 1950.
  • Cpl. Victor H. Espinoza of El Paso, TX, for courageous actions during combat operations in Chorwon, North Korea, on Aug. 1, 1952.
  • Sgt. Eduardo C. Gomez, born in Los Angeles, CA for courageous actions during combat operations in Tabu-dong, South Korea, on Sept. 3, 1950.
  • Master Sgt. Juan E. Negron of Bayamon, Puerto Rico, for courageous actions during combat operations in Kalma-Eri, North Korea, on April 28, 1951.
  • Master Sgt. Mike C. Pena, born in Newgulf, TX, killed in action during combat operations in Waegwan, South Korea, on Sept. 4, 1950.
  • Pvt. Demensio Rivera, born in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico, for courageous actions during combat operations in Changyong-ni, South Korea, on May 23, 1951.
  • Pvt. Miguel A. Vera, born in Puerto Rico, killed during combat operations in Chorwon, North Korea, on Sept. 21, 1952.
  • Sgt. Jack Weinstein of Saint Francis, KS. for courageous actions during combat operations in Kumsong, South Korea, on Oct. 19, 1951.
  • Pfc. Salvador J. Lara, of Riverside, CA., for courageous actions during combat operations in Aprilia, Italy, May 27-28, 1944.
  • Sgt. William F. Leonard, of Lockport, NJ, for courageous actions during combat operations near St. Die, France, on Nov. 7, 1944.
  • Staff Sgt. Manuel V. Mendoza, born in Miami, AZ., for courageous actions during combat operations on Mount Battaglia, Italy, on Oct. 4, 1944.
  • Sgt. Alfred B. Nietzel, born in New York City, for courageous actions during combat operations in Heistern, Germany, on Nov. 18, 1944.
  • 1st Lt. Donald K. Schwab, born Hooper, NE., for courageous actions during combat operations near Lure, France, on Sept. 17, 1944.