The U.S. Army awarded the Bronze Star, and five other awards posthumously to World War II veteran Macedonio "Mack" Chavez at a ceremony held Saturday on Fort Huachuca.

"Today we have gathered to honor a member of our community for his service during World War 2, a conflict that sent more Americans to war than any before or since.

His generation has been called "the Greatest Generation" because of their accomplishments and sacrifices, said Col. Michael Joiner, chief of staff, U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence, during the ceremony.

On behalf of Maj. Gen. John Custer, commander, U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence, Col. Michael Joiner, chief of staff, USAICoE presented Larry Chavez, son of Pfc. "Mack" Chavez, the Bronze Star, Good Conduct Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with Four Bronze Service Stars, World War II Victory Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge (First Award) and the Honorable Service Lapel Button, World War II.

"In recent years, the population of World War 2 veterans has begun a decline, and we are presented with fewer opportunities to celebrate their bravery. We welcome the chance to remember Mack Chavez and to present the awards he earned, but did not receive," Joiner said.

Chavez, who died in August 1993, is honored for his combat service with the 415th Infantry Regiment of the 104th Division "Timberwolves" in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany.

During the war, the Timberwolves fought 195 consecutive days of combat, leading an offensive to liberate towns in France and Holland, and subsequently capturing towns in Germany.

Receiving the long overdue awards was a total family effort. While Chavez was alive, his son Larry frequently tried to get his father to talk about his combat experience, but with little success.

More recently, Chavez's grandson, Ronnie Chavez began to research his military service and then his granddaughter, Rikki Hatfield contacted Sen. John McCain's office to find out how to obtain her grandfather's awards.

After receiving the actual medals, another granddaughter, Lisa Chavez, contacted the Pentagon regarding an awards ceremony.

The Chavez family members present for the awards ceremony commented that they were touched by the number of senior military leaders and Soldiers who attended the presentation.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16