Miguel Vera

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Miguel Armando Vera-Rodriguez
Miguel-vera-united-states-army-medal-of-honor.jpg
Birth nameMiguel Armando Vera-Rodriguez
Nickname(s)"Nando"
Born3 May 1932[1]
Adjuntas, Puerto Rico
DiedSeptember 21, 1952(1952-09-21) (aged 20)
Chorwon, North Korea
Place of burial
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branchSeal of the United States Department of War.png United States Army
RankPrivate
Service numberUS50110351
Unit2nd Infantry Division SSI (full color).svg 2nd Infantry Division
38th Infantry Regiment DUI.png 38th Infantry Regiment
2nd Battalion
Foxtrot Company
Battles/warsKorean War 
AwardsMedal of Honor ribbon.svg Medal of Honor
Purple Heart ribbon.svg Purple Heart

Miguel Armando "Nando" Vera[a] (3 May 1932 – 21 September 1952) was a United States Army soldier who was killed in the Korean War and a posthumous recipient of the Medal of Honor.[2][3]

Biographical details[edit]

Vera was born in Adjuntas, Puerto Rico and joined the U.S. Army when he was 17 years old.[2]

After Vera was killed in action in the Korean War, his body was transferred to Puerto Rico where he was buried with full military honors in the Utuado Municipal Cemetery, Utuado, Puerto Rico. Years later, in November 2014, Vera was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.[4]

Medal of Honor[edit]

Vera's nephew Joe Rodriguez accepted the Medal of Honor on his late uncle's behalf.

The bestowal of the Medal of Honor recognized Vera for his actions at Chorwon, North Korea, on September 21, 1952.[2] While Vera's unit attempted to retake the right sector of "Old Baldy", it came under heavy fire at close range and was forced back.[2] Vera selflessly chose to stay and cover the troops' withdrawal, and lost his life during this action.[2]

Vera was posthumously bestowed the Medal of Honor by President Obama in a March 18, 2014 White House ceremony.

The bestowal of the Medal of Honor was in accordance with the National Defense Authorization Act which called for a review of Jewish American and Hispanic American veterans from World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War to ensure that no prejudice was shown to those deserving the Medal of Honor.[5][6]

Medal of Honor citation[edit]

Cmoh army.jpg

The President of the United States of America, under the provisions of the Act of Congress approved, July 9, 1918 (amended by act of July 25, 1963), takes pride in presenting the Medal of Honor (Posthumously) to:

PRIVATE

MIGUEL A. VERA

UNITED STATES ARMY

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty:

Private Miguel A. Vera distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty while serving as an automatic rifleman with Company F, 38th Infantry Regiment, 2d Infantry Division in Chorwon, Korea, on September 21, 1952.

That morning, despite suffering from wounds inflicted in a previous battle, Private Vera voluntarily left the aid station to join his comrades in an attack against well-fortified enemy positions on a hill of great importance. When the assaulting elements had moved within twenty yards of the enemy positions, they were suddenly trapped by a heavy volume of mortar, artillery and small-arms fire. The company prepared to make a limited withdrawal, but Private Vera volunteered to remain behind to provide covering fire. As his companions moved to safety, Private Vera remained steadfast in his position, directing accurate fire against the hostile positions despite the intense volume of fire which the enemy was concentrating upon him. Later in the morning, when the friendly force returned, they discovered Private Vera in the same position, facing the enemy. Private Vera's noble intrepidity and self-sacrifice saved many of his comrades' lives.

Private Vera's extraordinary heroism and selflessness at the cost of his own life, above and beyond the call of duty, are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.[2]

Awards and decorations[edit]

Combat Infantry Badge.svg
A light blue ribbon with five white five pointed stars
Bronze star
Bronze star
Silver star
Badge Combat Infantryman Badge[7]
1st row Medal of Honor[7] Purple Heart[7]
2nd row Army Good Conduct Medal[7] National Defense Service Medal[7] Korean Service Medal[7] (with two bronze service stars)
3rd row United Nations Service Medal[7] Korean War Service Medal[7] Hwarang Distinguished Military Service Medal[7] (with one silver star)

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Vera.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hall of Valor
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Private Miguel A. Vera | Valor 24 | Medal of Honor | The United States Army". army.mil. Retrieved 2014-03-31.
  3. ^ "Obama to Award Medal of Honor to 24 Army Veterans - ABC News". abcnews.go.com. Retrieved 2014-02-22.
  4. ^ Medal of Honor Historical Society of the United States
  5. ^ Pub.L. 107–107
  6. ^ Daniel Rothberg (2014-02-21). "Obama will award Medal of Honor to 24 overlooked Army veterans". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2014-02-21.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Private Miguel A. Vera | Valor 24 | Medal of Honor | The United States Army". army.mil. Retrieved 2014-03-31.