Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Vietnam vet is awarded Silver Star after 43 years

Vietnam vet is awarded Silver Star after 43 years
The Boyle Heights man hadn't received the medal for heroism because of lost paperwork. When the officer who recommended him found out, he doggedly worked to correct the oversight.

By Esmeralda Bermudez

October 4, 2009

It took 43 years, but Marine Pfc. Daniel Hernandez finally got his medal.

And when he did Saturday morning in Boyle Heights, the Vietnam veteran stood up straight and proudly puffed out his chest, his eyes glistening with emotion.

"His immediate and fearless actions, while himself painfully wounded, undoubtedly saved many lives," said Marine Lt. Jim Lupori, reading from the Silver Star medal citation that, because of lost paperwork, was never awarded to Hernandez by the secretary of the Navy after he left Vietnam in the late 1960s.

The four-decade wait only made the honor more meaningful to Hernandez, 63, as several hundred relatives, friends and fellow veterans gathered for a ceremony in his honor at the Hollenbeck Youth Center. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-East Los Angeles) and a host of other state and city leaders attended.

They came in support of a man they had known for decades as a community youth leader and president of the Hollenbeck Youth Center, which provides after-school programs to keep children away from gangs and drugs.

Few knew Hernandez also was a war hero.

"There's a difference between action heroes in movies and action heroes in real life," said Schwarzenegger, who has long collaborated with Hernandez on youth issues. "Danny is a real action hero."
read more here

No comments:

Post a Comment

If it is not helpful, do not be hurtful. Spam removed so do not try putting up free ad.