Valley hero to be honored with Medal of Honor
Mon, 24 Feb 2014 05:41:30 GMT —
President Obama will be awarding 24 veterans the Medal of Honor including one man, who lived right here in the valley.
The military's highest combat award will soon be awarded to Edinburg's own Army Private Pedro Cano, who was laid to rest in June 1952.
Decades later, Cano will finally be recognized for his valiant efforts back in World War II.
"It doesn't sit well with me that this person who risked his life and limb for this country, fought and bled, was not given the honor he deserved," said Palmview High School teacher Jose Obregon.
Obregon has been pushing to have Army Private Pedro Cano recognized and awarded the medal of honor for almost a decade.
Cano served with the U.S. Army during World War II and demonstrated extraordinary courage and valor in battle.
However, his bravery to stand up for his comrades left him injured and permanently disabled.
"I knew that he should have gotten a higher medal because everything he did was above and beyond. He wasn't told to do this-he crawled out in between the lines, between the Americans and the Germans," explained Obregon.
Cano's efforts have not gone completely ignored, he awarded two Silver Star medals, a Purple Heart and a Distinguished Service Cross.
"The only reason he was not given the Medal of Honor was because he was not an American citizen and his skin was brown," believes Obregon.
Obregon, who served in the United States Air Force, said every year since 2005, he and several students have been writing to Congress in hopes that Cano's valiant efforts would be recognized.
"Vice president Cheney said 'I'm going to forward it to the Pentagon', the Pentagon said 'we're putting him on a list of soldiers that need to be reviewed to see if they can be moved up to a higher medal'," said Obregon.
All that persistence has finally paid off.
"I was working on a Saturday and I saw a flash that Pedro Cano [was getting ] the Medal of Honor and I cried. I cried and texted my kids and said, 'He's going to get it-it's happening'," recalled Obregon.
Obregon tells Action 4 News that it's been a long time coming, but he's glad that Army Private Pedro Cano will finally get the recognition he so very much deserves.
"I would have preferred for him to have gotten it beforehand, but better late than never," said Obregon.
The ceremony scheduled for March 18th will honor veterans mostly of Hispanic and Jewish heritage. Only three of the 24 recipients are living.