- About Us
- Community Guidelines

Advertising on BOR
- Advertise on BOR


We're Counting On You.

Burnt Orange Report is redeveloping our website for the first time in almost a decade.

We're counting on your support to continue providing you free and frequent coverage of progressive issues that matter to Texans.

Help us build a website that is as great as the content we publish on it.

President Obama Awards Latino, Jewish, And African-American Veterans Overlooked Due To Prejudice

by: Omar Araiza

Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 09:00 AM CDT

Staff Sergeant Melvin Morris, Sergeant First Class Jose Rodela, and Specialist Four Santiago J. Erevia with President Obama
On Tuesday, President Obama awarded the Medal of Honor to 24 veterans of World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. Many of these veterans were previously overlooked due to prejudice against their ethnicity or race, the majority of whom were Latino, Jewish or African-American. Only three remain alive and were present at the ceremony.

Two of the three courageous men present at the ceremony are from right here in Texas -- Sergeant First Class Jose Rodela and Specialist Four Santiago J. Erevia. Both Rodela and Erevia are Vietnam veterans from San Antonio.

"This ceremony reminds us of one of the enduring qualities that makes America great, that makes us exceptional," said President Obama. "No nation is perfect. 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."

President Obama righted the historic wrong after a twelve-year review done by the Pentagon of past discrimination in the military. The review was prompted by a 2002 law passed by Congress. "This is the length to which America will go to make sure everyone who serves under our proud flag receives the thanks that they deserve," said Obama.

Our biggest gratitude to these brave soldiers, and to those who fought hard in order to correct this past injustice done against them.

Read the names of those honored, including five Texans, and watch an AP clip highlighting the touching ceremony below the jump.

All the veteran's names were listed on the White House website:

Living veterans honored at the ceremony:

- Specialist Four Santiago J. Erevia (of San Antonio, Texas)
- Staff Sergeant Melvin Morris
- Sergeant First Class Jose Rodela (of San Antonio, Texas)

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 (of El Paso, Texas)
- Sergeant Eduardo C. Gomez
- Private First Class Leonard M. Kravitz
- Master Sergeant Juan E. Negron
- Master Sergeant Mike C. Pena (of Newgulf, Texas)
- Private Demensio Rivera
- Private Miguel A. Vera
- Sergeant Jack Weinstein

Vietnam War veterans
- Sergeant Candelario Garcia (of Corsicana, Texas)
- Specialist Four Leonard L. Alvarado
- Staff Sergeant Felix M. Conde-Falcon
- Specialist Four Ardie R. Copas
- Specialist Four Jesus S. Duran

Copyright Burnt Orange Report, all rights reserved.
Do not republish without express written permission.

Tags: , , , , , , , , (All Tags)
Print Friendly View Send As Email

Amazon Referrals
Buying Back-to-School Books?

Use BOR's Amazon Referral and we'll receive a share of your purchase, at no cost to you!

Click here to shop.

Connect With BOR

2014 Texas Elections
Follow BOR for who's in, who's out, and who's up.

Candidate Tracker:
-- Statewide Races
-- Congressional Races
-- State Senate Races
-- State Rep. Races
-- SBOE Races
-- Austin City Council

Click here for all 2014 Elections coverage


Make a New Account



Forget your username or password?

Texas Blue Pages

Texas Blue Pages
A career network for progressives.


Shared On Facebook

Burnt Orange Reporters
Editor and Publisher:
Katherine Haenschen

Senior Staff Writers:
Genevieve Cato
Joe Deshotel
Ben Sherman

Staff Writers:
Omar Araiza
Emily Cadik
Phillip Martin
Natalie San Luis
Katie Singh
Joseph Vogas

Byron LaMasters

Blogger Emeritus:
Karl-Thomas Musselman

Read staff bios here.

Traffic Ratings
- Alexa Rating
- Quantcast Ratings

Powered by: SoapBlox