HI Legislature honors fallen war heroes
March 29, 2013
Nineteen families receive Hawaii Medal of Honor at joint legislative session
HONOLULU -- The Hawaii State Senate and Hawaii State House of Representatives held a special joint session in the Senate Chambers, here, Wednesday, to recognize military service members who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
During the session, the families of fallen heroes all received the Hawaii Medal of Honor on behalf of their loved ones.
In 2005, Act 21 was signed into law, which created the Hawaii Medal of Honor (HMOH). This special medal is awarded on behalf of the people of the State of Hawaii to an individual who was killed in action while serving as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.
Recipients of the medal include members of the United Armed Forces, the United States Military Reserves and the Hawaii National Guard who were residents of the State of Hawaii, attended an educational institution in Hawaii or were stationed in Hawaii by order of the Department of Defense.
As of Dec. 31, 2012, Hawaii has lost 327 service members with Hawaii ties who sacrificed their lives while in the line of duty.
"The effort to identify those eligible for the medal has taken many months," said Rep. K. Mark Takai. "Working with all the branches of the military, we worked extremely hard to identify each service member who sacrificed their lives."
The primary next of kin and the families for each service member were invited to attend the joint session, during which time they were presented with the HMOH.
"In offering the Hawaii Medal of Honor to those who will gather here, in memory of those who have fallen, we recognize that they are part of us, part of our ohana," Takai said. "The medal guarantees that they will never be forgotten. I hope that the children of these heroes will one day appreciate the sacrifices that their fathers and their mothers made on behalf of all of us."
The list of the 2013 Hawaii Medal of Honor recipients was compiled by the Office of Rep. K. Mark Takai and is current as of Dec. 31, 2012. Army names are listed below.
Sgt. Richard Essex
Sgt. Luis Oliver Galbreath
Chief Warrant Officer 3 Brian Hornsby
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Nicholas Johnson
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Suresh Krause
Sgt. Sapuro Nena
1st Lt. Clovis Ray
Sgt. Dean Shaffer
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Don Viray
Sgt. Chris Workman