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Hispanics and the Congressional Medal of Honor.

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By oldcar53 - Posted on 25 May 2006

We pay our respects to all the fallen heroes. Perhaps the most profound tribute of all was made on the first national memorial observance in May, 1868, by then - General James A. Garfield when he said: "They summed up and perfected, by one supreme act, the highest virtues of men and citizens. For love of country they accepted death, and thus resolved all doubts, and made immortal their patriotism and virtue."

Hispanics have been loyally involved in all the wars since the “War of Independence” for the United States of America to the present war in Iraq. United We Stand!

MEMORIAL DAY

THE 40
Latin-American
Congressional Medals of Honor
1864- 1970

Admiral David Glasgow Farragut

A Hispanic American of Spanish descent, Admiral David Farragut was the U.S. Navy's first full-fledged admiral of the rapidly expanding Navy in the Civil War.

Although most recipients were recognized soon after their acts of valor, others, such as Vietnam War veteran Alfred Rascón and WWII veteran Rudolph Dávila, had to wait decades. We list them along with their fellow soldiers in war.*

Civil War

Sergeant Joseph H. De Castro (Boston, MA)
1864 U.S. Army

Regular Seaman John Ortega (Spain)
1864 U.S. Navy

Regular Seaman Philip Bazaar (Chile)
1865 U.S. Navy

Boxer Rebellion

Private France Silva (Haywood, CA)
1901 U.S.M.C.

World War I

First Lieutenant David Barkley (Laredo, TX)
1918 U.S.Army

World War II

Private Joe P. Martinez (Taos, NM)
1943 U.S. Army

Staff Sergeant Lucian Adams (Port Arthur, TX)
1944 U.S. Army

Sergeant Jose M. Lopez (Mission, TX)
1944 U.S. Army

Staff Sergeant Macario Garcia (Mexico)
1944 U.S. Army

Private First Class Harold Gonsalves (Alameda, CA)
1945 U.S.M.C.

Private First Class David H. Gonzales (Pacoima, CA)
1945 U S. Army

Private First Class Silvestre S. Herrera (El Paso, TX)
1945 U.S. Army

Private First Class Manuel Perez, Jr. (Oklahoma City, OK)
1945 U.S. Army

Technical Sergeant Cleto Rodriguez (San Marcos, TX)
1945 U.S. Army

Private First Class Alejandro R. Ruiz (Loving, NM)
1945 U.S. Army

Private First Class Jose F. Valdez (Governador, NM)
1945 U.S. Army

Staff Sergeant Ysmael R. Villegas (Casa Blanca, CA)
1945 U.S. Army

*Staff Sergeant Rudolph Davila (El Paso, TX)
2000 U.S. Army

Korean Conflict

First Lieutenant Baldomero Lopez (Tampa, FL)
1950 U.S.M.C.

Private First Class Eugene A. Obregon (Los Angeles, CA)
1950 U.S.M.C.

Private First Class Edward Gomez (Omaha, NE)
195l U.S.M.C.

Corporal Rodolfo P. Hernandez (Colton, CA)
l951 U.S.M.C.

Sergeant Joseph C. Rodriguez (San Bernardino, CA)
1951 U.S. Army

Corporal Benito Martinez (Fort Hancock, TX)
1952 U.S. Army

Private First Class Fernando Luis Garcia (Utuado, PR)
1952 U.S.M.C

Staff Sergeant Ambrosio Guillen (La Junta, CO)
1953 U.S.M.C.

Vietnam Era

Specialist Fourth Class Daniel Fernandez (Albuquerque, NM)
1966 U.S. Army

Captain Euripides Rubio (Ponce, PR)
1966 U. S. Army

Private First Class Carlos James Lozada (Caguas, PR)
1967 U.S. Army

First Sergeant Maximo Yabes (Lodi, CA)
1967 U.S. Army

Major Jay R. Vargas, Jr. (Winslow, AZ)
1968 U.S.M.C.

Master Sergeant Roy P. Benavidez (El Campo, TX)
1968 U.S. Army

Sergeant Alfredo Gonzales (Edingurge, TX)
1968 U.S.M.C.

Specialist Fourth Class Hector Santiago-Colon (Salinas, PR)
1968 U. S. Army

Lance Corporal Jose Francisco Jimenez (Mexico)
1969 U.S.M.C.

Private First Class Ralph E. Dias (Shelocia, IN)
1969 U.S.M.C.

Lance Corporal Emilio A. De la Garza, Jr. (Chicago, IL)
1970 U.S.M.C.

Lance Corporal Miguel Keith (San Antonio, TX)
1970 U.S.M.C.

Warrant Officer Louis R. Rocco (Albuquerque, NM)
1970 U.S. Army

*Specialist Fourth Class Alfred Rascón (Chihuahua, Mexico)

2000 U.S. Army

IRAQ

First U.S. casualty in Iraq.
Marine Lance Cpl. José Antonio Gutiérrez, 22, of Los Ángeles, California

Gutierrez died March 21, 2003 in Southern Iraq during the initial ground operations of the war.
He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, California.
Gutierrez was an undocumented citizen from Guatemala. His remains were sent to Guatemala for burial. He was granted U.S.Citizenship posthumously.

Thank you so much for sharing that beautiful story.
It brought a cascade of tears to my old and battered Chicano face.

I must admit that I was ignorant of all those facts.
I wish that the post office would issue a series of stamps honoring all 40 Latino recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor.

My late father served in Normandy in WWII. He always spoke fondly of Rouen, and the French people.

But, he told me Nazi prisoners of war were treated better back here at home than Mexican-American soldiers, and vets. He told me he was refused service at various restaurants shortly after the war while he was in uniform wearing his medals:(

We have a Latin American War Vets memorial here in Los Angeles at the corner of Cesar Chavez and Indiana, right at the L.A. city line. My dad was there when they dedicated it in 1947. Every year on Veteran's Day, and Memorial Day, the current governor lays a wreath, and stops for a photo op.

I started a tradition of leaving light candles there at night. Many people followed my lead, and now the monument has a stream of melted wax at its base, and on special evenings like the one coming up, it glows with a hundred flickering lights.

Its adjacent to Evergreen Cemetery, oldest burial ground in Los Angeles. My father played there as a kid, as if it were a park.

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