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Staff Sgt. Manuel V. Mendoza receives the Medal of Honor March 18, 2014

“Arizona Kid” from Miami to receive Medal of Honor, March 18th

On March 18th, President Barack Obama will be awarding the Medal of Honor to 24 veterans who previously received the Distinguished Service Cross – the nation’s second-highest military award.

The upgrade was a result of the Defense Authorization Act of 2002. 

According to the Center of Military History the ceremony will serve to correct “decades of discrimination” in which the conspicuous gallantry of these veterans was overlooked because of racial or ethnic backgrounds. Among the recipients there will be 19 Hispanic, Jewish and African-American veterans who had previously been recognized with the Distinguished Service Cross.

The Distinguished Service Cross
The Distinguished Service Cross

Staff Sgt. Manuel V. Mendoza was born in 1922 in Miami, Arizona and served in both WWII and Korea. He is being recognized for his actions during WWII in which he is credited with “single-handedly breaking up a German Counterattack” on October 4, 1944 in Battaglia, Italy. 

He was nicknamed the “Arizona Kid” by his unit.

Following his Army career, he went on to work as a foreman in a nuclear plant. Mendoza passed away at the age of 79 .

He has the distinction of being only the second Arizonan from WW II to be awarded the Medal of Honor.




About Linda Gross

Writer, photographer. Passionate foodie, lover of good books and storytelling. Lives in Globe. Plays in the historic district. Travels when possible.

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