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24 Medals of Honor: Obama Honors Veterans From Three Wars

By Newsmax Wires   |   Tuesday, 18 Mar 2014 12:58 PM

President Barack Obama belatedly awarded 24 Medals of Honor on Tuesday to a range of veterans who served during three different wars.

Just three of those who were honored at the White House ceremony are still alive, all of them combat veterans of Vietnam. The others served during Vietnam, World War II, and Korea, The Associated Press reported.

The honors were awarded after Congress ordered a review to determine whether service members of Jewish or Hispanic heritage or others had been wrongly denied the Medal of Honor due to prejudice. All of those who were honored had previously been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation's second-highest military award.

Overall, eight of the 24 fought in Vietnam, nine in Korea, and seven in World War II.

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The living recipients are:

-Melvin Morris of Cocoa, Fla., born in Okmulgee, Okla., commended for courageous actions while a staff sergeant during combat operations in the vicinity of Chi Lang, South Vietnam, on Sept. 17, 1969.

-Spc. 4 Santiago J. Erevia of San Antonio, born in Nordheim, Texas, cited for courage during a search and clear mission near Tam Ky, South Vietnam, on May 21, 1969.

-Sgt. 1st Class Jose Rodela of San Antonio, born in Corpus Christi, Texas, cited for courage during combat operations in Phuoc Long province, South Vietnam, on Sept. 1, 1969.

The posthumous recipients are:

-Sgt. Candelario Garcia, born in Corsicana, Texas, for courageous actions during combat operations in Lai Khe, South Vietnam, on Dec. 8, 1968.

-Spc. 4 Leonard L. Alvarado, born in Bakersfield, Calif., died during combat operations in Phuoc Long province, South Vietnam, on Aug. 12, 1969.

-Staff Sgt. Felix M. Conde-Falcon, born in Juncos, Puerto Rico, killed during combat operations in Ap Tan Hoa, South Vietnam, on April 4, 1969.

-Spc. 4 Ardie R. Copas of Fort Pierce, Fla. killed during combat operations near Ph Romeas Hek, Cambodia, on May 12, 1970.

-Spc. 4 Jesus S. Duran of San Bernardino, Calif., for courageous actions during combat operations in South Vietnam on April 10, 1969.

-Cpl. Joe R. Baldonado, born in Colorado, killed during combat operations in Kangdong, North Korea, on Nov. 25, 1950.

-Cpl. Victor H. Espinoza of El Paso, Texas, for courageous actions during combat operations in Chorwon, North Korea, on Aug. 1, 1952.

-Sgt. Eduardo C. Gomez, born in Los Angeles, for courageous actions during combat operations in Tabu-dong, South Korea, on Sept. 3, 1950.

-Pfc. Leonard M. Kravitz, born in New York City, killed during combat operations in Yangpyong, South Korea, on March 6-7, 1951.

-Master Sgt. Juan E. Negron of Bayamon, Puerto Rico, for courageous actions during combat operations in Kalma-Eri, North Korea, on April 28, 1951.

-Master Sgt. Mike C. Pena, born in Newgulf, Texas, killed in action during combat operations in Waegwan, South Korea, on Sept. 4, 1950.

-Pvt. Demensio Rivera, born in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico, for courageous actions during combat operations in Changyong-ni, South Korea, on May 23, 1951.

-Pvt. Miguel A. Vera, born in Puerto Rico, killed during combat operations in Chorwon, North Korea, on Sept. 21, 1952.

-Sgt. Jack Weinstein of Saint Francis, Kan. for courageous actions during combat operations in Kumsong, South Korea, on Oct. 19, 1951.

-Pvt. Pedro Cano, born in La Morita, Mexico, for courageous actions during combat operations in Schevenhutte, Germany, on Dec. 3, 1944.

-Pvt. Joe Gandara, born in Santa Monica, Calif., for courageous actions during combat operations in Amfreville, France, on June 9, 1944.

-Pfc. Salvador J. Lara, of Riverside, Calif., for courageous actions during combat operations in Aprilia, Italy, May 27-28, 1944.

-Sgt. William F. Leonard, of Lockport, N.J., for courageous actions during combat operations near St. Die, France, on Nov. 7, 1944.

-Staff Sgt. Manuel V. Mendoza, born in Miami, Ariz., for courageous actions during combat operations on Mount Battaglia, Italy, on Oct. 4, 1944.

-Sgt. Alfred B. Nietzel, born in New York City, for courageous actions during combat operations in Heistern, Germany, on Nov. 18, 1944.

-1st Lt. Donald K. Schwab, born Hooper, Neb., for courageous actions during combat operations near Lure, France, on Sept. 17, 1944.

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