Congresswoman Escobar Urges U.S. Army to Review Private Marcelino Serna Eligibility for the Medal of Honor
El Paso, TX, September 4, 2020
Today, Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (TX-16) sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy requesting that the United States Army review the military service record of the late El Paso resident and World War I hero Private Marcelino Serna for his eligibility to receive the Medal of Honor.
Private Serna is the most decorated World War I veteran in Texas. He fought for the United States during World War I and was the first Hispanic Soldier to be awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and was also awarded two Croix de Guerre with Palm by the Government of France and the Croce al Merito di Guerra by the Italian Government.
“During this time, Private Serna was given an opportunity to discharge, but refused in order to continue serving alongside his fellow soldiers. During his service, Private Serna repeatedly demonstrated exceptional bravery,” Congresswoman Escobar wrote. “Examples include volunteering to scout dangerous areas alone, outlasting heavy sniper fire to single-handedly capture twenty-four combatants, and exercising honorable conduct in compliance with the rules of war by keeping his prisoners from being executed by fellow American soldiers. This conduct represents the best of our military.”
Congresswoman Escobar continued the letter by asking for the U.S. Army to carefully consider the unique and unjust social challenges Private Serna, a Mexican-American immigrant, had to endure and overcome in order to serve our Nation. She concluded the letter by calling for a review of Private Serna’s eligibility, stating that, “prejudice has no place in our armed forces” and “it is long past time to right the wrongs of the past.”
The full letter can be read here.