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First Name: Candelario

Last Name: Garcia

Birthplace: Corsicana, TX,

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Date of Birth: 26 February 1944

Date of Death: 10 January 2013

Rank: Sergeant

Years Served:
Candelario Garcia

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Candelario Garcia
Sergeant, U.S. Army
Medal of Honor Recipient, Vietnam War

Candelario Garcia was born in Corsicana, TX, on 26 February 1944. He enlisted in the U.S. Army on 28 May 1963.

Garcia distinguished himself on 8 December 1968, as a team leader while serving with Company B, 1st Battalion, 2nd Infantry, 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division. during a reconnaissance-in-force mission near Lai Khe, Vietnam. Garcia destroyed two enemy machine-gun positions in an attempt to aid casualties that were in the open and under fire. Garcia then rejoined his company in a successful assault on the remaining enemy positions.

Medals, Awards & Badges

Medal of Honor *
Silver Star Medal
Bronze Star Medal
Purple Heart
Army Commendation Medal with "V" Device and Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
Army Good Conduct Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Vietnam Service Medal with 2 Silver Service Stars and 1 Bronze Service Star
Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Silver Star
Vietnam Campaign Medal with "60" Device
Meritorious Unit Commendation
Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation with Palm Device
Vietnam Civil Actions Honor Medal Unit Citation, First Class
Combat Infantryman Badge
Expert Marksmanship Badge with Rifle

* Medal of Honor

Seeking to correct potential acts of bias spanning three wars, and following a Congressionally-mandated review to ensure that eligible veterans were not bypassed due to prejudice, the Medal of Honor will be awarded to 24 Army veterans. The unusual mass ceremony, scheduled for 18 March 2014, will honor veterans, most of Hispanic or Jewish heritage, who had already received the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation’s second-highest military award for valor. Only three of the recipients are living.

The Army conducted the review under a directive from Congress in the 2002 National Defense Authorization Act. The law required that the record of each Jewish American and Hispanic American veteran who received a Distinguished Service Cross, during or after World War II, be reviewed for possible upgrade to the Medal of Honor.

The Army reviewed the cases of the 6,505 recipients of the Distinguished Service Cross from World War II, Korea and Vietnam, and found an eligible pool of 600 soldiers who may have been Jewish or Hispanic. The Army also worked with the National Museum of American Jewish Military History, the Jewish War Veterans of the USA and the American GI Forum, the largest Hispanic-American veterans group, to pinpoint potential medal recipients. Of the 24, seven fought in World War II, nine in the Korean War, and eight in the Vietnam War.

Since the award of the Medal of Honor is an upgrade to the Distinguished Service Cross already received by SGT Garcia, it is based on the valorous actions in the Citation for his DSC.

Distinguished Service Cross Citation:

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, (amended by act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Sgt. Candelario Garcia, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam, while serving with Company B, 1st Battalion, 2nd Infantry, 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division.

Garcia distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions, Dec. 8, 1968, as a team leader during a company-size reconnaissance-in-force mission west of Lai Khe. Garcia’s platoon discovered communication wire, and other signs of an enemy base camp, leading into a densely vegetated area. As they advanced they came under intense fire, causing several men to be wounded and trapped in the open. Ignoring a hail of hostile bullets, Garcia crawled to within ten meters of a machine-gun bunker, leaped to his feet and ran directly at the fortification, firing his rifle as he charged. He jammed two hand grenades into the gun port and then placed the muzzle of his weapons inside, killing all four occupants. Continuing to expose himself to intense enemy fire, Garcia raced fifteen meters to another bunker and killed its three defenders with hand grenades and rifle fire. After again braving the communists' barrage to rescue two casualties, he joined his company in an assault, which overran the remaining enemy positions.

Garcia’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.


Sergeant Candelario Garcia died on 10 January 2013.

Honoree ID: 228022   Created by: MHOH




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