Remembering Our Heroes

King Media Remembers Our Heroes

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Specialist Fourth Class Santiago Jesus Erevia, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam. Specialist Fourth Class Erevia distinguished himself on 21 May 1969 while serving as a radio-telephone operator with Company C, 1st Battalion, 501st Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile), during a search and clear mission near Tam Ky City in the Republic of Vietnam.

After his platoon had penetrated an enemy defensive perimeter, Specialist Erevia was delegated to remain behind and care for the wounded while the rest of the platoon pushed on against the adversary. As Specialist Erevia began administering first aid to the battle casualties, their position came under heavy fire from a line of enemy bunkers to his left front. Without hesitation, Specialist Erevia crawled from one wounded man to another gathering weapons and ammunition.

Armed with two M-16 rifles and several hand grenades, he then rose to his feet and charged directly into the fire of the hostile gun emplacement, discharging suppressive fire on the enemy as he ran. Once near the first bunker, Specialist Erevia edged his way up to the emplacement under intense fire from the other bunkers and unleashed a grenade on its defender. He then maneuvered to the second and third bunkers employing the same tactics and destroyed both fortifications and their occupants with well-placed grenades. His supply of hand grenades now exhausted, Specialist Erevia fought his way to the final bunker, running and firing both M-16 rifles simultaneously, and killed the fortification’s defender with point-blank fire.

Having single-handedly destroyed four enemy bunkers and their occupants, Specialist Fourth Class Erevia then returned to the soldiers charged to his care and resumed treating their injuries. Specialist Fourth Class Erevia’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.