Apr 15, 2014

Up On TV Tonight

On Austin's @TXCapTonight political talk show with @HCookAustin to discuss the debate between Sen. Dan Patrick and S.A. Mayor Julian Castro. Also up for discussion is the new (@ppppolls) poll showing statewide GOP candidates enjoying double-digit leads. http://share.d-news.co/yRU7lWI

Apr 4, 2014

The Next Governor of Texas

"The Next Governor of Texas?" It's an easy question to answer but that's the headline of The Weekly Standard's Article on Attorney General Abbott. The writer followed General Abbott on the campaign trail and noted his stop in Edinburg. A good story about the campaign and the man who will be the next governor of the great State of Texas.

Mar 29, 2014

RGV Super Saturday Block Walk

"Alright, alright, alright! Looky here, it's real simple, we're going to win this thing. Alright!"

Mar 19, 2014

A New Beginning

The shadows are growing long here in Washington D.C. as the sun begins to set on another miraculous day on our nation's effort's to recognize it's heroes. I'm overjoyed that it happened and was blessed to be a part of it, yet I'm saddened this trip to our nation's capitol is coming to an end.

The Valor 24, as we have come to call those recognized with the Medal of Honor, whose courage was embodied in the 3 living recipients, were remarkable.

Santiago Jesse Erevia and Jose Rodela, both from Corpus Christi and San Antonio, as well as Melvin Morris of Florida were everything one would expect: gracious, humble and noble. http://t.co/hZdTlQag4C

Mitchell and Marilyn Libman were special too. I had them sign my White House program along with the living Medal of Honor recipients because these moments of tribute belong to them as well. http://t.co/AuN1K2EYCP

Tomorrow marks a new beginning, it is the first day of Spring. It is a fitting metaphor for where we go from here. Our country has corrected an injustice and it moves forward better and stronger for it.

Thanks for following. Best wishes.

It Was A Good Day

In the White House's State Dining Room standing in front of the Roosevelt fireplace and Abraham Lincoln portrait. L-R: Maricela De Leon, Aaron Peña, Dominga Perez, Alec Cano, Emily Lindsay, Geneive Cano, Nina Cano and Stephen Cano. Back: Armando Jr. Perez, Armando Perez, Salvador Perez, Robert Perez and Sgt. Barnhart.

Medal Of Honor

Video Of Medal Of Honor Ceremony

Watch the Medal of Honor ceremony filmed at the White House

Mar 18, 2014

A Fifty Year Struggle

Joined by Mitch and Marilyn Libman whose hard work made this day possible. http://m.nydailynews.com/1.1730737

From the New York Times: Mitch Libman was surprised when his childhood friend, Pfc. "Leonard Kravitz, was not selected for the Medal of Honor — the military’s top honor — after his service in the Korean War. Mr. Libman, back in Denver, had received regular updates from Private Kravitz about the fighting. But then Private Kravitz died a hero, with his actions saving his entire platoonin Yangpyong on March 6-7, 1951.

Private Kravitz was Jewish, and “it was obvious for me, from reading everything, that it had something to do with his religion,” Mr. Libman said in a video interview with the newspaper Stars and Stripes. “And I couldn’t believe that here’s a guy who saved so many lives, and people are upset that a Jewish guy is getting a Medal of Honor,” Mr. Libman said. “And there were so many groups that were caught up in that type of thing.”

Mr. Libman was angry enough to petition members of Congress to reconsider Private Kravitz for the Medal of Honor — he had already been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the second-highest military award. The efforts led Congress to require the Army, Air Force and Navy to review the records of Jewish and Hispanic service members who had received the Distinguished Service Cross for their heroics in World War II and the Korean and Vietnam Wars to determine whether they had been passed over for the Medal of Honor because of their race, religion or ethnicity.

A Lasting Friendship

I had the pleasure today to meet Mitchell Libman at the White House whose friendship to a brave soldier caused Congress to order a review for discrimination. Marylyn Libman was with her husband and I thanked her for her work as well. Mitch’s years of advocacy led the Pentagon to do a review of Medal of Honor candidates who may have been discriminated against due to their Jewish or Hispanic origin. This comprehensive review then revealed additional cases of extraordinarily heroic veterans who had gone unrecognized but were eligible for the Medal of Honor. Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-21) joined us as he too filled me in on their extraordinary efforts to get recognition for those that may have been overlooked because of race, ethnicity or religious traditions. http://wapo.st/1g8ydHO

Mar 16, 2014

White House Welcomes A Nation's Heroes

During a White House ceremony, President Barack Obama will award 24 Army veterans with the Medal of Honor in one of the largest Medal of Honor ceremonies in history.

Each of these Soldiers' bravery was previously recognized by award of the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation's second highest award; that award will be upgraded to the Medal of Honor. Congressional review and the 2002 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) prompted a review of Jewish American and Hispanic American veteran war records from WWII, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

During the review, records of several Soldiers of neither Jewish nor Hispanic descent were found to display criteria worthy of the Medal of Honor. The 2002 NDAA was amended to allow these Soldiers to be honored with the upgrade in addition to the Jewish and Hispanic American Soldiers. The ceremony will recognize these 24 men for their gallantry, intrepidity and heroism above and beyond the call of duty.

CLICK HERE to view the entire list of Medal of Honor recipients.

The ceremony can be watched via the internet on a live feed beginning on Mar 18 2014 2:15 PM (Texas time) CST to 4:30 PM CST.

CLICK HERE at www.whitehouse.gov to see the live stream at that time.

Mar 10, 2014

White House Medal of Honor Ceremony For Pedro Cano - March 18

Roughly 3,400 people have received the Medal of Honor since it was created in 1861. Here is a list of those to be posthumously added on March 18, 2014:

Vietnam War

Sgt. Candelario Garcia for valor during combat in Lai Khe, South Vietnam, on Dec. 8, 1968. Spc. 4 Leonard L. Alvarado for valor during combat in Phuoc Long province, South Vietnam, on Aug. 12, 1969. Staff Sgt. Felix M. Conde-Falcon for valor during combat in Ap Tan Hoa, South Vietnam, on April 4, 1969. Spc. 4 Ardie R. Copas for valor during combat near Ph Romeas Hek, Cambodia, on May 12, 1970. Spc. 4 Jesus S. Duran for valor during combat in South Vietnam on April 10, 1969.

Korean War

Cpl. Joe R. Baldonado for valor during combat in Kangdong, North Korea, on Nov. 25, 1950. Cpl. Victor H. Espinoza for valor during combat in Chorwon, North Korea, on Aug. 1, 1952. Sgt. Eduardo C. Gomez for valor during combat in Tabu-dong, South Korea, on Sept. 3, 1950. Pfc. Leonard M. Kravitz for valor during combat in Yangpyong, South Korea, on March 6-7, 1951. Master Sgt. Juan E. Negron for valor during combat in Kalma-Eri, North Korea, on April 28, 1951. Master Sgt. Mike C. Pena for valor during combat in Waegwan, South Korea, on Sept. 4, 1950. Pvt. Demensio Rivera for valor during combat in Changyong-ni, South Korea, on May 23, 1951. Pvt. Miguel A. Vera for valor during combat in Chorwon, North Korea, on Sept. 21, 1952. Sgt. Jack Weinstein for valor during combat in Kumsong, South Korea, on Oct. 19, 1951.

World War II

Pvt. Pedro Cano for valor during combat in Schevenhutte, Germany, on Dec. 3, 1944. Pvt. Joe Gandara for valor during combat in Amfreville, France, on June 9, 1944. Pfc. Salvador J. Lara for valor during combat in Aprilia, Italy, May 27-28, 1944. Sgt. William F. Leonard for valor during combat operations near St. Die, France, on Nov. 7, 1944. Staff Sgt. Manuel V. Mendoza for valor during combat on Mount Battaglia, Italy, on Oct. 4, 1944. Sgt. Alfred B. Nietzel for valor during combat in Heistern, Germany, on Nov. 18, 1944. 1st Lt. Donald K. Schwab for valor during combat near Lure, France, on Sept. 17, 1944.

Feb 24, 2014

REPOST from May 18, 2010: A Soldier's Recognition Brings A Family Together

I had the pleasure in meeting Private Pedro Cano's children and family last night at a banquet in his honor. It has been a two year quest for myself to find his children and bring attention to his life and service. After finding his vandalized grave site I grew concerned when I noted that his wife and family where not living in the area nor buried near him. Were the children compelled to return to Mexico with their mother? Did the absence of a father for the three young children affect their upbringing?

Those questions were answered last night as I observed a healthy, close and loving family. Even better they had survived and flourished. Last night family members that had not met each other because of a tragedy that had occurred over sixty years ago, came together to reconnect.

Here in the photo, Pedro's eldest child Dominga, shows me her father's purple heart medal and the distinguished service cross medal.

At 2:30 today the Texas Governor presents the children with the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor.

As many of a discussed this family and that of Pedro Cano is ripe for a book to be written on their lives. Today, we write one of the ending chapters.

All are invited to Edinburg's City Hall for the medal presentation.