Congressman Cuellar Presents Ten Military Medals To Cotulla Veteran
Mr. Pedro Garcia waited decades for this official recognition of his honorable actions in WWII
Apr 10, 2012 -
Yesterday, Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo) presented Mr. Pedro G. Garcia of Cotulla the ten medals entitled to him for his service in World War II.
“Requests from constituents, no matter the scope or size, are handled with the utmost attention and care,” Congressman Cuellar said. “The request from Mr. Pedro Garcia was no different – from tracking newspaper records to corresponding with family members, I made it a point to see that Mr. Garcia received the honor and recognition he deserves for his service to our country.”
Mr. Pedro Garcia’s son, Jose Garcia, wrote a letter to Congressman Cuellar’s office about his father’s honorable service and his desire to recover the service medals that were misplaced thirty years ago. Congressman Cuellar’s office, aided by Mr. Garcia’s family, began searching for documentation to send to the Department of Army to prove Mr. Garcia’s entitlement to the appropriate medals – even going as far as finding a newspaper clipping with Mr. Garcia’s picture proving he was a returning prisoner of war.
After months of correspondence, Congressman Cuellar’s office was able to secure the medals below for Mr. Garcia. In attendance at the presentation were Garcia’s family members from across the state of Texas.
Mr. Garcia, who was born and raised in Cotulla, dropped out of school in the fifth grade to assist his family and joined the U.S. Army in 1941. He was sent to the Philippine Islands and was captured in 1942 when American and Filipino forces surrendered to the Japanese. He was a prisoner of war for three years until the end of World War II.
The medals that were awarded to Mr. Garcia are the following:
· Bronze Star Medal
Awarded to any person whom while serving in any way in or with the United States military after December 6th 1941, that distinguished himself or herself apart from his or her comrades by brave or praiseworthy achievement or service, that did not include participation in aerial flight.
· Prisoner of War Medal
The Prisoner of War Medal is issued to U.S. military personnel who were taken prisoner and held captive after April 5th, 1917.
· Army Good Conduct Medal
Awarded to an enlisted member who completes three consecutive years of service without any punishments, disciplinary infraction, or court martial offenses.
· American Defense Service Medal with Foreign Service Clasp
Awarded to personnel for active duty service from September 8th, 1939 to December 7th, 1941 for twelve months or longer.
· Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with one Bronze Service Star
Awarded for qualifying service within the Asiatic-Pacific Theater of Operations between December 7th, 1941, and March 2nd, 1946.
· World War II Victory Medal
Awarded to all military personnel who served between December 7th of 1941 and December 31st of 1946.
· Honorable Service Lapel Button-World War II
Awarded to U.S. military service members who were discharged under honorable conditions during World War II.
· Presidential Unit Citation Medal with two Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters
Awarded to U.S. Army units and allies for extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy on or after December 7, 1941.
· Philippine Defense Ribbon with one Bronze Service Star
Awarded for service in the liberation of the Philippines from October 17, 1944, to September 2, 1945.
· Philippine Republic Presidential Unit Citation
Awarded to U.S. Armed Forces personnel for services resulting in the liberation of the Philippines during World War II and U.S. Forces who participated in disaster relief operations in 1970 and 1972.