Nearly 63 years later on Tuesday, Rivera's granddaughter, Sgt. Ashley Randall, traveled from Hinesville, Ga., to accept the Medal of Honor on behalf of Rivera in a White House ceremony. The Puerto Rican private was one of 24 veterans of World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War to be so honored, after a Pentagon review determined they were unjustly denied the medal because of their heritage.
“Some of these soldiers fought and died for a country that did not always see them as equal,” President Barack Obama said. He added, “This is the length to which America will go to make sure everyone who serves under our proud flag receives the thanks they deserve.”