48ºF

2 San Antonio Army vets awarded Medal of Honor

Sgt. Santiago Erevia, Master Sgt. Jose Rodela, both retired, honored at White House ceremony

On Tuesday former Sgt. Santiago Erevia and retired Master Sgt. Jose Rodela were awarded the Medal of Honor.

President Barack Obama awarded the Medal of Honor to 24 Army veterans who served during World War II, Korea and Vietnam.

Erevia and Rodela are two of the three living recipients of the award.

In an interview back in February, Erevia said he was looking forward to this day and is honored to receive the award, even if it's more than 40 years late.

"I'll be glad to have it even if it was 44 years late," said Erevia. "I'll be glad to have it."

Erevia received the nation's highest military award, recognizing bravery far exceeding the call of duty for his combat actions in Vietnam.

On May 21, 1969, Erevia, armed with two rifles and several grenades, charged the enemy when his unit came under fire.

Also getting recognized for his bravery and actions in Vietnam is retired Master Sgt. Jose Rodela. Rodela was injured in combat while recovering a wounded comrade.

During the White House Ceremony an announcer stated, "Master Sgt. Rodela showed extraordinary heroism and selflessness above and beyond the call of duty."

Obama addressed the three living recipients of the Medal of Honor.

"All these years ago, for your comrades and your country, you refused to yield on behalf of a great nation," Obama said. "We all want to thank you for inspiring us with your strength, your will and your heroic acts."

The honors were awarded Tuesday after Congress ordered a review to determine whether service members had been wrongly denied the Medal of Honor due to prejudice.

All of those being honored on Tuesday had previously been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation's second highest military award.


About the Author: