Remembering Medal of Honor recipient U.S. Army Sgt. Santiago Erevia


Erevia_4Today, we honor the service of an American hero, U.S. Army Sgt. Santiago Erevia. Sgt. Erevia was a member of the famed 101st Airborne Division, Charlie Co, 1st Bn, 501st Infantry Regiment during the Vietnam War.

On May 21, 1969, the quiet and reserved Erevia was part of a task force whose mission was to sweep and clear an area in the Tam Ky Province of Vietnam. During the mission, his unit came under intense enemy fire. Erevia was directed by his squad leader to render first aid to the wounded, while the rest of the unit advanced on the ambushing enemy forces.

A few minutes later, Erevia and the wounded men in his care were attacked from four fortified enemy positions to Erevia’s front left. Completely disregarding his own safety and under intense enemy fire, he gathered extra ammunition and another M-16 rifle and charged the first of the four enemy positions.

Arriving at the first position, Erevia kicked open the hatch and dropped a grenade, destroying the enemy position. He repeated this act on the second and third positions.Erevia_3

Out of grenades, he approached the fourth position firing both M-16 rifles, effectively providing his own cover fire. When he kicked open the hatch, the enemy, mere inches from Erevia’s head, began firing, but it was Erevia who would be victorious in the close-quarters firefight.

Erevia’s actions directly contributed to saving the lives of the wounded in his care as well as propelling the morale and resolve of his fellow Soldiers during the intense battle.

When word spread of Erevia’s actions, many in his unit were in disbelief. The man who rarely said a word would become the man who would save the lives of countless American Soldiers and go on to be awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery and courage under seemingly insurmountable odds.

As the end of Erevia’s citation reads, “Specialist Four Erevia’s conspicuous gallantry, extraordinary heroism, and intrepidity at the risk of his own life, above and beyond the call of duty, were in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.”

ereviaErevia was originally awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions, but a review of award records determined his actions met the standards for award of the Medal of Honor. The medal was presented to him on March 18, 2014.

Erevia left the Army and began a 32-year career as a postal carrier near his home of San Antonio. He was the father of four children and spent his retirement years updating his home and walking to stay healthy.

Sgt. Santiago Erevia passed away Tuesday, March 22, 2016, at the age of 70. We honor his service.

Hooah, Sergeant!


James Killen

–James Killen is a public affairs specialist and member of VA’s digital engagement team. James is a Louisville, Kentucky, native who enlisted in the Marine Corps five days after high school. As a CH46E mechanic he deployed twice in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the initial invasion, and then to the Al Anbar Province 04-05. James is currently a member of the Kentucky Air National Guard and serves as the public affairs officer for the 123rd Airlift Wing. He is a father of three beautiful girls, a huge Chicago Cubs fan and a die-hard Kentucky Wildcat. Go Big Blue!


  1. NWA Electrician    

    RIP. God bless this man and his service.

  2. Michael Cherochak    

    Rest in peace, SGT Erevia. I salute you and thank you for your service in the military as well as a dedicated postal employee.

  3. Andy Heredia    

    God bless you my good man. Amen RIP!!

  4. Darius Carter    


  5. RW    

    Not a man of words, but a MAN of ACTION,- Hero
    Thank You

  6. David M Scott    

    I would like to make my pleasure being a Vietnam Vet to Salute, and give my gift to all those that served honorably and specially to Santiago Medal of Honor recipient my he rest and be standing tall in the eternal service of our Lord

  7. Raymond Johnson    

    May God watch over you and your family.I know they are real proud of you.

  8. J. R. Flores    

    Rest in peace. I find myself honored to have read this great Sgt. story. My God bless his soul and thank you for your legacy.

  9. Donald York    

    Welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honor men like him
    Philippians 2:29

    Rest in peace loyal Brother.

  10. Edward Soria    

    To the Santiago Erevia family I offer my condolence and respect for such a brave American soldier who when the chips were down stepped forward on the battlefield. I was there also with the 1st Air Cav Division 1967- 68 – rest in peace brother.

    Edward Soria

  11. John Bolthouse    

    A True Badass. I salute you, Santiago Erevia. It is because of men like you that the rest of us stand a chance. May you rest for eternity in God’s Grace.

  12. Rudolph Lopez    

    God bless you my friend. i also served in Nam 1965-66 and returned home to a hostile environment towards us vets. It’s still difficult to forgive . In 2014, i was finally declared 100% permanent disabled for PTSD by the VA. Sgt. Erevia, save a place for me. We have alot to talk about. Adios mi amigo. Hasta luego.

    1. Andrew Wilson    

      Rudolph Lopez, I don’t blame you. I can’t imagine coming home to what you all had to. It is because of you and your brothers who fought in Vietnam that I received proper mental health care. Your generation of warriors have led the way to “treating vets”. The VA was able to tell me I’m 100% disabled and offer treatment. I thank your generation for continuing your war even after returning home. Your generation TAUGHT America how to treat veterans. Thank you my brother and may we all have a drink together in the afterlife!

  13. JOHN J. GARZI    


  14. Dennis Chavez    

    American hero’s are common men doing extrodinary things. Thank you Sarge for being that man. My fellow and brother of Vietnam. Chavez 1963-1967

  15. Stephen Ll Barusso    

    I was moved to read about this hero who served six tours with the 501st of the famous 101st Airborne Div.
    I too am a proud member and trooper of the 101st Aviation Battalion. We are all brothers and to be able to express my feelings for Sgt. Santiago Erevia is an honor for this member of the Screaming Eagles.
    Rest inn peace Sargent, you will be honored in heaven now.
    Respectfully Sp/4 Stephen Barusso

  16. Paul Coleman    

    RIP Sarge!

    You are a true American Hero!

  17. Dorothy Brooks    

    This man was a true hero to serve in that war and come out of it without deep emotional scars. All those people who served in that era are true faithful American veterans. This includes my self because I served in that era myself at Kadena AB, Okinawa from 1974 to 1976. I did not fight the enemy face to face with grenades and rifles. No, my service was rendered by using a tool box to keep the aircraft the pilots used flying their sorties everyday.

  18. Michael R. Straw, Sr    

    GOD BLESS and RIP brother-in-arms. We’ll hold down the fort here until we see you in Heaven…….

  19. Angel Rivera    

    And who says latinos haven’t contributed to the greatness of this country.

    1. Andrew Wilson    

      This is not the thread for that discussion Angel Rivera. This is to simply honoring one of the most amazing men who ever lived. Period. Please don’t think I’m on the opposite side of the issue you mentioned. I’m not. I appreciate your effort for more recognition to men like this.

      I hope I see this man in my afterlife so I may properly thank him. May my life honor him until then. I promise to God I will not forget this man and what I learned by this article. He will be in my thoughts with my other fallen brothers. So humbling.

      Andrew Wilson
      Marine Corps 2002-2007, Iraq 2004

    2. Kenneth Justice    

      I’m a 100% disabled Vietnam veteran. Sgt. Erevia is a true American hero. We Vietnam veterans, we band of brothers served shoulder to shoulder always having each others back. Bullets and bombs know no skin color. You need to take your polical crap on down the road.

    3. Harold Kaye    

      Don;t know would make such a foolish statement. Seems to me there is a lot of hispanic heroes in the military. Very proud tradition.
      HAK USMC 51-54

    4. Ed    

      Who the hell says that !? What a dumb thing to say

  20. Julius R. Williams    

    I am 100% DAV served in Vietnam in 1969 and 1970 with the 173rd 1st of the 503rd

  21. Don Colling    

    God Bless and thank you for your service to our country.

  22. Kim McKee-Weimer    


    Rest in peace, American hero. Thank you to his family for giving us the precious gift of his story!!

    Prayers for your comfort. <3

    My dad also served. Part of his service was from 1964-66. He passed 100% service connected due to Agent Orange….

    I know first hand how challenging it is & was for our dynamic ladies and gentleman with hrarts of gold & patriotism to open up & share. His service is truly a gift.
    Thank you!

    1. Darius Carter    

      Thank-You And all those like you for serving, sacrificing, and securing “all”.God-Bless. Sgt. Darius Carter. U.S. Army-U.S. Marine Corps. OOH-RAH OOH-YAH AIRBORNE ALL THE WAY!!#

    2. Clarke McKeever    

      Truly a great American Hero in my eyes. May God bless his soul and prayerfully he was a man of God. 79th Tactical Fighter Sqdn, Flying Tigers.
      Rest in Peace
      C. McKeever

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