Author Campaigning to Get Fort Davis War Hero Medal of Honor - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Author Campaigning to Get Fort Davis War Hero Medal of Honor

FORT DAVIS, TX (KWES) -

After Donald Trump's controversial comments against Mexican immigrants, calling them rapists that bring drugs and crime, one author is proving him wrong.

His book highlights Hispanic veterans of World War II and he's pushing for one local hero to get the recognition he deserves.

Manuel "El Feo" Gonzales is known as "Fort Davis' One Man Army". He fought in World War II. 

"When he went to war, he was just a common laborer here in this town and became a great hero, a war hero," said Arnulfo Hernandez, author of the book Toughest Chicano Fighting Soldiers of WWII: Company E of El Paso.

A monument erected in his name sits in front of the Jeff Davis County Courthouse and Sgt. Gonzales Street stretches across Fort Davis. 

"He knocked out four machine gun nests with only grenades and his rifle. Working by himself, he knocked out an 88-millimeter cannon. Later in Cassino, he knocked out a tank with a bazooka working by himself," said Hernandez.

Inside the book Hernandez wrote, it highlights the toughest Chicano fighting soldiers of World War II and Company E, who helped chase the Nazis out of Italy.

His efforts helped many Hispanic veterans get their high school diplomas they earned, including Gonzales' diploma given to family members in his honor in 2014.

Last year, President Obama issued 22 Medals of Honor to Hispanic veterans from Texas. Gonzales was forgotten.

"Manuel was ignored and we think it was because his name was misspelled," said Hernandez.

For that reason, Hernandez has started a campaign to elevate the Distinguished Service Cross Gonzales received to a Medal of Honor.

Advocates are also pushing to fix up Sergeant Gonzales' old home which is currently being used as a storage unit. They wish to make it a historical monument to honor their hometown hero.

With stories like this left out of the history books, Hernandez says, once their tales of heroism are told and their efforts recognized, not even the most influential people can take that away.

"'It is best to keep your mouth shut and be thought an idiot, then open it and confirm it,' and that's for Mr. Trump," said Hernandez.

Hernandez is currently on his Southwest Tour including a Book signing event in El Paso on August 14 at Bowie High School.

On August 16 Hernandez will be at the El Paso Library, then on August 17, he'll be back in Fort Davis. On August 19 and 20, he'll be in San Antonio then Austin on August 22 and 23. 

If you'd like a copy of the book and you can't make a book signing event, Toughest Chicano Fighting Soldiers of WWII: Company E of El Paso, Texas is available for purchase on Amazon.com.

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