Friday, June 3, 2016
Renaming the gates also serves as a way to more firmly bind El Paso and Fort Bliss together, said Twitty, who will relinquish command on June 15. “We want to make sure that it’s not just talk, but we are walking the walk,” Twitty said, referring to the strong bonds between the city and the Army installation.
The honorees are:
• Master Sgt. Michael C. Pena was born in Newgulf, Texas, in 1924 and served at Fort Bliss as an infantryman in 1941. He made his home in El Paso, where his first child was born. He fought in both World War II and the Korean War and was killed in action Sept. 4, 1950, in Korea. He received the Medal of Honor posthumously on March 18, 2014. The gate at Sergeant Major Boulevard and Spur 601 was renamed in his honor.
• Command Sgt. Maj. Martin R. Barreras, born in Tularosa, N.M., in 1964, was both a U.S. Marine and an Army soldier. His last assignment was as the senior enlisted adviser for the 2nd Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment at Fort Bliss. He was wounded in Afghanistan on May 13, 2014, and died of his wounds shortly thereafter in San Antonio. The gate at Sergeant Major Boulevard and Loop 375 was renamed in his honor.
• Second Lt. Thomas Fowler was born in Wichita Falls, Texas, in 1921. He served in the 191st Tank Battalion in 1944 in Italy, supporting the 1st Armored Division during Operation Buffalo. He was killed in action June 3, 1944. He received the Medal of Honor. The gate at Infantry Brigade Combat Team-North was renamed in his honor.
• Pfc. Nicholas Minue, born in Poland, served in World War II in Company A, 6th Armored Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Division. He was killed in action on April 28, 1943, in Tunisia and received the Medal of Honor. The gate at Infantry Brigade Combat Team-South was renamed in his honor.
• Master Sgt. Victor H. Espinoza was born in El Paso in 1929. He served in Korea with Company A, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division. He received the Medal of Honor for his actions on Aug. 1, 1952. After retiring from the Army as a master sergeant, the lifelong El Paso resident died on April 17, 1986. A gate at the new William Beaumont Army Medical Center, which is scheduled to open in early 2019, will be named in his honor.
• Sgt. Jesus S. Duran was born in Juárez in 1948. He served in Vietnam as a member of Company E, 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). Following his service in the military, he served as a corrections officer in San Bernardino, Calif. He died Feb. 28, 1977. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions on April 10, 1969, in Vietnam. A gate at the new William Beaumont hospital will also be named in his honor.
Rick Pena, the nephew of Master Sgt. Michael C. Pena, said his uncle has had roads and memorial plaques named after him since he was awarded the nation’s highest military honor in 2014. “This is fantastic,” said Pena, of Oklahoma City. “This is a new event that just came upon us about a month ago. We didn’t know this was happening.”
Tina Duran-Ruvalcaba, the daughter of Sgt. Jesus S. Duran, made the trip from Corona, Calif. “I think it is quite awesome that the city of El Paso has adopted my father,” she said. “This is a great honor."
Article from the El Paso Times