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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

President Obama Awards Medal of Honor

The following is a list of recipients for today's 2014 presidential Medal of Honor Awards:
The following recipients received the Medal:
Specialist Four Santiago J. Erevia
Staff Sergeant Melvin Morris
Sergeant First Class Jose Rodela



The following men received the Medal on behalf of the recipient listed below:
Lenora Alvarado, accepted on behalf of her father, Specialist Four Leonard L. Alvarado
Richard Conde, accepted on behalf of his father, Staff Sergeant Felix M. Conde-Falcon
Shyrell Jean Copas, accepted on behalf of her father, Specialist Four Ardie R. Copas
Tina Duran-Ruvalcaba, accepted on behalf of her father, Specialist Four Jesus S. Duran
Command Sergeant Major Michael Grinston, accepted on behalf of Sergeant Candelario Garcia
Charles Baldonado, accepted on behalf of his brother, Corporal Joe R. Baldonado
Tyronne Espinoza, accepted on behalf of his father, Corporal Victor H. Espinoza
Pete Corrall, accepted on behalf of his uncle, Sergeant Eduardo C. Gomez
Laurie Wegner, accepted on behalf of her uncle, Private First Class Leonard M. Kravitz
Iris Negron, accepted on behalf of her father, Master Sergeant Juan E. Negron
Michael David Pena, accepted on behalf of his father, Master Sergeant Mike C. Pena
Sergeant Ashley Randall, accepted on behalf of her grandfather, Private Demensio Rivera
Joe Rodriguez, accepted on behalf of his uncle, Private Miguel A. Vera
Nancy Weinstein, accepted on behalf of her husband, Sergeant Jack Weinstein
Dominga Perez, accepted on behalf of her father, Private Pedro Cano
Miriam Adams, accepted on behalf of her uncle, Private Joe Gandara
Alfonzo Lara, accepted on behalf of his brother, Private First Class Salvador J. Lara
Patricia Kennedy, accepted on behalf of her father, Private First Class William F. Leonard
Alice Mendoza, accepted on behalf of her husband, Staff Sergeant Manuel V. Mendoza
Robert Nietzel, accepted on behalf of his cousin, Sergeant Alfred B. Nietzel
Dr. Terry Schwab, accepted on behalf of his father, First Lieutenant Donald K. Schwab

(h/t Alex Leary Tampa Bay Times)
Twenty-four Army soldiers who fought in World War II, Korea and Vietnam received the Medal of Honor, correcting oversights that prevented many of them from receiving the nation's highest award for valor because of their Hispanic, Jewish and African-American backgrounds, White House officials said today.

Said, President Obama, "Many of these families ...they’ve known these stories of heroism for decades.  Still, they were pretty surprised when we called them to break the news about the Medal of Honor.  Some of them thought it was a prank.  Some of them thought it was a scam.  A few of them thought it might be some trick to get their credit card number.  When I called Melvin Morris, who we’ll recognize in a moment for his actions in Vietnam, his first reaction was, “Oh, my God, what have I done?”  When I told him it was all good, the Medal of Honor, I could hear through the phone, he almost passed out."
Today's awarding of 24 Medals of Honor - most of them posthumously - was the largest number to be awarded at one time since World War II, per a statement by the White House.

The process began in 2002 when Congress mandated that the military services review the cases of hundreds of Hispanic and Jewish service members who fought during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War and received the Distinguished Service Cross instead of the Medal of Honor for their heroism. The Distinguished Service Cross is the nation's second-highest award for valor.

The 12-year review of cases ultimately identified 18 Army soldiers whose cases merited being upgraded to the Medal of Honor, officials said.

During the course of the review it was determined that six soldiers not of Hispanic or Jewish backgrounds should also have their Distinguished Service Crosses upgraded to the Medal of Honor.

We couldn't help notice that today's 'photo of the day', is the same photo of the day for March 4th.  Obviously an error made by the WH photo office, but kind of fun to ask how'd they get everybody there again to pose the same way on March 18th.
Helping to officiate today's ceremony were:
Chaplain- Chaplain (MG) Donald L. Rutherford, Chief of Chaplains, U.S. Army 
Military Aide holding the medals-Lieutenant Colonel Samuel "Lee" Meyer, U.S. Marine Corps 
Military Aides reading citations- Lieutenant Commander Tiffany Hill, U.S. Navy and Major Matthew Newell, U.S. Air Force

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