Hawaii Medal of Honor bestowed

| May 7, 2010 | 0 Comments

Sgt. Maj. Terry Anderson
8th Theater Sustainment Command Public Affairs

Beate Medina is comforted by an unidentified sergeant major following the Hawaii Medal of Honor ceremony, Friday, at Schofield Barracks. Medina accepted the medal on behalf of her late husband, Staff Sgt. Oscar D. Medina, who was killed in action in Iraq on May 1, 2004. Maj. Gen. Michael J. Terry, (left), commanding general, 8th Theater Sustainment Command provided remarks during the ceremony. (Sgt. 1st Class David R. Wheeler | 8th Theater Sustainment Command Public Affairs)SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Family, friends, Soldiers and loved ones honored the late Staff Sgt. Oscar Medina at the 84th Engineer Battalion headquarters, here, April 30, as his spouse was presented with the Hawaii Medal of Honor on his behalf.

“Everyone here, I thank you for doing this for Oscar,” said Beate Medina, wife of the deceased Soldier. “I know in my heart that this would be a proud moment for Oscar.”

Medina, a construction equipment repairman who deployed to Iraq in January of 2004 with the 84th Eng. Bn., was out on patrol in May when his convoy was ambushed.

According to reports, Medina and his Soldiers fought the enemy valiantly, but the 32-year-old Medina was killed from the fusillade of rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire.

For his actions that fateful day, he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with “V” device for valor.

“What constitutes a hero?” asked guest speaker Maj. Gen. Michael J. Terry, commanding general, 8th Theater Sustainment Command. “(Medina) was a young man who wasn’t born in America, but cherished this country so much that he made the decision to selflessly serve as an American Soldier. Staff Sergeant Medina displayed uncommon heroism as his convoy was attacked during that patrol in Iraq.”

The Hawaii State Legislature conceived the Hawaii Medal of Honor in 2004 as a way to express its deep appreciation to the loved ones of military members who sacrifice their lives in defense of our nation.

State Rep. Mark Takai was on hand for the ceremony, and thanked Medina’s wife for traveling from Texas to Hawaii for the ceremony.

“With this medal comes the recognition that you and your family will always be members of our ohana,” Takai said. “On behalf of my 75 colleagues in the state Legislature, and all the people in Hawaii, thank you, Beate, for your service and sacrifice.”

Medina, a native of Cali, Columbia, moved to the U.S. when he was 8. He was raised in Chicago, and joined the Army in 1992.

Fellow service members were effusive in their praise of Medina, referring to him as an “incredible Soldier and warrior.”

“I was with (Medina) when he was killed, and there are about five or six of us left in the unit who knew him,” said Staff Sgt. Adam Wahineokai, a native of Kaneohe. “Oscar was very motivated, loved being happy and cheering people up. We could always count on him to put a smile on our faces.”

Medina is survived by his wife and son, Daniel Vargas.

Category: Army Community Covenant, News

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