SA veterans return home after receiving Medal of Honor
2 veterans among 24 honored
Two San Antonio veterans were finally awarded the Medal of Honor this week in Washington D.C. after they had previously been denied the honor decades ago due to their ethnic or religious background.
Master Sgt. Jose Rodela and Sgt. Santiago Erevia, both of the U.S. Army, arrived at San Antonio International Airport on Thursday to a hero's welcome.
President Barack Obama awarded both men the prestigious Medal of Honor on Tuesday, the result of a congressionally mandated review to ensure that no eligible recipient for the award was overlooked due to discrimination.
"I'm very proud to represent the Army," Rodela said. "I was satisfied with the DSC (Distinguished Service Cross). The DSC is almost equivalent to the Medal of Honor. A lot of people don't look at it that way, but I was proud of the DSC. I'm more glad the Medal of Honor was presented."
A total of 24 soldiers were awarded the country's highest military decoration at Tuesday's ceremony, but only three, including Rodela and Erevia, are still living.
"What can I say? This is something I didn't expect, but I'm grateful," Erevia said. "I hope I can live up to the hype. I hope that we can sort of give the community back, what they have to us."
During Tuesday's ceremony Obama said no nation is perfect and the United States must confront our sometimes painful past.
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