Army Veteran Marcario García is today’s Veteran of the Day.
Marcario García was born in January 1920 in Villa de Castaño, in the Mexican state of Coahuila. García’s parents, Luciano and Josefa, had 10 children, including Marcario. When he was three, his family moved to Sugar Land, Texas, to work on a ranch. He attended school and worked on the ranch to help support his family before enlisting as an infantryman in the U.S. Army in November 1942.
García was assigned to Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division. He took part in D-Day, landing on Utah beach in Normandy in June 1944. He was injured in the assault and spent several months recovering before returning to his unit, which by then was stationed in Germany.
While serving with B Company near Grosshau, Germany, García was wounded when he single-handedly advanced on two German machine gun fortifications that halted his company’s advance. He refused to receive medical attention until the enemy threat was subdued. He also single-handedly killed six enemy soldiers, captured four others and dismantled the enemy fortifications with hand grenades. Only then did he receive medical treatment.
García received a Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions in Grosshau. He is the first Mexican national to receive the award. President Harry S. Truman presented the medal to García in August 1945 at the White House. He also received a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart, a Combat Infantryman’s Badge and a medal of Mérito Militar, a Mexican military medal similar to the Medal of Honor.
After returning home with the rank of staff sergeant, García gained American citizenship in 1947 and his high school diploma in 1951. He married Alicia Reyes in May 1952 and they raised three children. García is not just remembered for his military career, but for his trailblazing work for the Hispanic civil rights movement when he returned from the war. He spent much of his life after the war serving as a civil rights activist, working to promote the Hispanic community, and as a counselor at the Houston VA. García died in December 1972 due to injuries sustained in a vehicle accident. He is buried in Houston National Cemetery.
We honor his service.
Carry the Load
In 2022, VA is joining forces with Carry The Load to honor veterans during the “Memorial May” March, a national relay visiting 50 VA national cemeteries to honor our nation’s fallen service members. A link to this webpage is here. The complete list of participating cemeteries can be found here. Volunteers are encouraged to register in advance.
Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.
It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.
Veterans History Project
This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at http://www.loc.gov/vets/.
Writer: Jack Patterson
Editors: Alexander Reza, Annabelle Colton
Researchers: Giacomo Ferrari, David Charles Deprez
Graphic Designer: Kiki Kelley
Project Manager: Oasis Diaz