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Stories of American Heroes - Brought to you from the "Home of Heroes" - Pueblo, Colorado

These pages are the results of a Medal of Honor research project by Eighth Graders at Sacred Heart Elementary School in Ville Platte, Louisiana.   All material in these pages were written by the students.

Congressional Medal Of Honor

America has often found it necessary to wage war. Throughout its history, American men and women have fought and died for their country on battlefields around the world. Thousands of these men and women were unsung heroes and heroines in battles from Concord, Massachusetts, to Mogadishu, Somalia. A handful of these have been awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery in combat above and beyond the call of duty. 

Until the time of the Civil War, there was no such thing as the Medal of Honor. (Though most people call the medal the Congressional Medal of Honor, its proper name is simply the Medal of Honor.) In December of 1861, the Congress of the United States decided some special award was needed for those who displayed special bravery. The first Medals of Honor were awarded in 1863 to recognize a band of Union Army raiders who struck a blow at the heart of the Confederacy. The most recent recipients were two soldiers who were killed in action in Somalia in 1993. A total of 3,362 medals have been presented. Most of those - 2,362 - have been awarded to Army men. Nineteen men are so-called double recipients. That means they were awarded two medals for different actions under fire. 

Those who have been awarded medals have been as diverse as America itself. They were rich and poor; African American, Asian American, Native American, Hispanic American, and white American; young and old; from big cities and country villages. Some were the sons of families that had been in America for generations. Others were immigrants who came to America to find a better life. Even though women have traditionally been kept out of combat, one woman, Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, was awarded the medal for her service during the Civil War. Members of all branches of service--Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard - have been honored. 

Some of these Medal of Honor recipients became famous. Their names were at least for a time, as famous as the medal itself and the wars they fought in. Other recipients returned home after their battles ended and sank into relative obscurity. 

More than 550 of those who were awarded medals were killed in combat. The bravery that made them medal recipients also cost them their lives. 

Sadly, while no sane person desires war, the nature of humankind means that wars will continue to ravage the earth. Someday that may change, and the Medal of Honor will be a relic of the past. For now, the best that we can hope for is that brave men and women like these medal recipients will continue fighting for freedom and democracy. Their stories can stand as shining examples of the courage that free people need when threatened with a loss of their freedom.

Adapted from Congressional Medal of Honor Recipients, Collective Biographies by Kieran Doherty

Each student in the class adopted a Medal of Honor recipient from our Nation's history, researched his life, and then wrote the story you can read here.  The easiest way to read ALL of these stories is to simply click on the arrow at the bottom of each page.  There are a total of 9 pages featuring stories of 62 different recipients.  If you are looking for a specific recipient, you can go directly to his story from the links in the table of contents below.

Table Of Contents

Civil War

William Carney
Joshua Chamberlain
Thomas Ward Custer
Thomas J. Higgens
Jacob Parrott
Charles Reeder
Mary Edwards Walker
George Washington Walton

Indian Campaigns 

William Fredrick Cody

Haitian Campaign 

Samuel Gross

World War I 

Deming Bronson
Eddie Rickenbacker
William Sawelson
Alvin York

Peace Time Awards 

Charles A. Lindbergh
William "Billy" Mitchell

World War II 

Van T. Barfoot
John Duncan Bulkeley
Demas Thurlow Craw
Michael Joseph Daly
Henry E. Erwin
David M. Gonzales
Isadore Jachman
Douglas Munro
Audie Leon Murphy
William Arthur Shomo
Charles L. Thomas
Herbert Joseph Thomas
Matt Urban
Jonathan M. Wainwright

Korean War

Charles G. Abrell
Fernando Garcia
Hiroshi H. Miyamura
Herbert K. Pililaau
Mitchell Red Cloud, Jr.

Vietnam War 

William E. Adams
James Anderson, Jr.
Richard A. Anderson
Webster Anderson
Oscar Austin
Steven Logan Bennett
Ronald L. Coker
Rodney Maxwell Davis
George E. Day
Charles C. Hagemeister
Jack H. Jacobs
Sergeant John L. Levitow
Gary Lee Littrell
Gary W. Martini
William T. Perkins
Alfred Rascon
Clarence Eugene Sasser
Lance Peter Sijan
James Bond Stockdale
Jay R. Vargas
Charles J. Watters
Hilliard Almond Wilbanks
Gerald O. Young

Somalia 

Gary Gordon
Randy Shugart

Our Adopted Hero 

Jefferson DeBlanc
Project Outline (For Teachers)
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Teacher Julia Fontenot with HomeOfHeroes webmaster Doug Sterner during her visit to the MOH memorial in Pueblo - summer of 2001.

 


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