Medal Honor 1

President Obama Awards the Medal of Honor to 24 Army Veterans 19 of them were previously overlooked for the Medal of Honor due to their racial or ethnic backgrounds

March 18, 2014 -This afternoon, President Obama awarded the Medal of Honor to 24 Army veterans in recognition of their valor during major combat operations in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.
Each veteran honored today had already received the Distinguished Service Cross – the nation’s second-highest military award – but 19 of them were previously overlooked for the Medal of Honor due to their racial or ethnic backgrounds. Today’s ceremony follows a 12-year Pentagon review, ordered by Congress, of past discrimination in the military.

“No nation is perfect,” the President said at today’s ceremony. “But here in America, we confront our imperfections and face a sometimes painful past, including the truth that some of these soldiers fought and died for a country that did not always see them as equal.”
At the ceremony, the President awarded the Medal of Honor to three living veterans, and 21 other veterans received the honor posthumously.

Read more details on the recipients here.

Living veterans honored at today’s ceremony:

President Barack Obama presents the Medal of Honor to Specialist Four Santiago J. Erevia during the Medal of Honor ceremony in the East Room of the White House, March 18, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

Specialist Four Santiago J. Erevia
Staff Sergeant Melvin Morris
Sergeant First Class Jose Rodela

Veterans honored posthumously at today’s ceremony:

World War II veterans

Private Pedro Cano
Private Joe Gandara
Private First Class Salvador J. Lara
Sergeant William F. Leonard
Staff Sergeant Manuel V. Mendoza
Sergeant Alfred B. Nietzel
First Lieutenant Donald K. Schwab

Korean War veterans

Corporal Joe R. Baldonado
Corporal Victor H. Espinoza
Sergeant Eduardo C. Gomez
Private First Class Leonard M. Kravitz

President Barack Obama presents the Medal of Honor to Sergeant First Class Jose Rodela during the Medal of Honor ceremony in the East Room of the White House, March 18, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

Master Sergeant Juan E. Negron
Master Sergeant Mike C. Pena
Private Demensio Rivera
Private Miguel A. Vera
Sergeant Jack Weinstein

Vietnam War veterans

Sergeant Candelario Garcia
Specialist Four Leonard L. Alvarado
Staff Sergeant Felix M. Conde-Falcon
Specialist Four Ardie R. Copas
Specialist Four Jesus S. Duran

President Barack Obama awarded 24 Medals of Honor during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, March 18, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

 

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