Passed over due to negligence and possible discrimination, 24 veterans will receive the Medal of Honour from President Obama on March 18.
Of the 24, only three are alive to accept the award. The other 21 will be honored posthumously.
The Army Times reports:
Each of the soldiers was previously recognised by award of the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation’s second highest military award. That award will be upgraded to the Medal of Honour in recognition of their gallantry, intrepidity and heroism above and beyond the call of duty.
In 2002 Congress passed the Defence Authorization Act, calling for a review of Hispanic and Jewish soldiers who possibly were denied the medal due to discrimination at the time.
The act was amended during the military’s review as several other soldiers of neither Jewish nor Hispanic descent were deemed worthy of the Medal of Honour.
All together, veterans from three wars — World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War — will be honored by the president.
The three living recipients of the award all performed their heroic acts in the Vietnam war. They are: Master Sgt. Jose Rodela, who inspired his unit to defend against a vicious enemy attack; Specialist Santiago Erevia, who protected wounded soldiers and singlehandedly destroyed multiple bunkers; and Sgt. 1st Class Melvin Morris, who charged into enemy fire despite being wounded multiple times to rescue a fallen comrade.
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