by David Vergun | WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Feb. 21, 2014)
President Barack Obama announced today that he will award the Medal of Honor to 24 Soldiers during a March 18 ceremony at the White House.
Seven awards will go to World War II veterans, nine to Korean War veterans, and eight to Vietnam War veterans. All awards are posthumous with the exception of three living Vietnam veterans.
The award, the highest for valor, is an upgrade from the Distinguished Service Cross that many Soldiers received for intrepid actions, personal bravery and devotion to duty during actions against enemy forces.
WORLD WAR II
Awardees from WWII include Pvt. Pedro Cano, for actions near Schevenhutte, Germany in December 1944; Pvt. Joe Gandara, for actions during the landings in Normandy, France in June 1944; Pfc. Salvador J. Lara, for actions during the Anzio Campaign in Italy in May 1944; Pfc. William Leonard, for actions in France in November 1944; Tech. Sgt. Manuel V. Mendoza, for actions at Mount Battaglia, Italy in September 1944; Sgt. Alfred B. Nietzel, for actions during the Battle of Hurtgen Forest, Germany in November 1944; and 1st Lt. Donald K. Schwab, for actions in France in September 1944.
Awardees from the Korean War include Cpl. Joe R. Baldonado, for actions near Kangdeng in November 1950; Sgt. Victor H. Espinoza, for actions during the Battle of Old Baldy in August 1952; Sgt. Eduardo C. Gomez, for actions at Tabu-dong in September 1950; Pfc. Leonard M. Kravitz, for actions in Yangpyong in March 1951; Master Sgt. Juan E. Negron, for actions near Kalma-Eri in April 1951; Master Sgt. Mike C. Pena, for actions in Waegwan in September 1950; Pvt. Demensio Rivera, for actions near Changyong-ni in May, 1951; Pvt. Miguel A. Vera, for actions during the Battle of Old Baldy in September 1952; and Sgt. Jack Weinstein, for actions near Kumsong in October, 1951.
Awardees from the Vietnam War include Spc. 4 Leonard L. Alvarado, for actions in Phuoc Long province in August 1969; Sgt. 1st Class Felix M. Conde-Falcon, for actions in Ap Tan Hoa in April 1969; Spc. 4 Ardie Ray Copas, for actions in Cambodia in May 1970; Spc. 4 Jesus S. Duran, for actions in Tay Ninh in April 1969; Spc. 4 Santiago J. Erevia, for actions near Tam Ky in May 1969; Sgt. Candelario “Cid” Garcia Jr., for actions near Lai Khe in December 1968; Staff Sgt. Melvin Morris, for actions near Chi Lang in September 1969; and Sgt. 1st Class Jose Rodela, for actions in Phuoc Long province in September 1969.
Erevia, Morris and Rodela, each who served in Vietnam, are the living recipients of the Medals of Honor.