1ST BATTALION 22nd INFANTRY

 

MEDAL OF HONOR

 

 

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life, above and beyond the call of duty,
in action involving actual conflict with an opposing armed force.

 

 

 

Name: Macario Garcia, Staff Sergeant, US Army B Company 1st Battalion 22nd Infantry, 4th Infantry Division

Place and date: Near Grosshau, Germany---27 November 1944

Entered service at: Sugarland, Texas

Born: 20 January 1920, Villa de Castano, Mexico

G.O. # 74 1 September 1945

 

Citation: Staff Sergeant Macario Garcia, Company B, 22nd Infantry, in action involving actual conflict with the enemy in the vicinity of Grosshau, Germany, 27 November 1944. While an acting squad leader, he single-handedly assaulted two enemy machine gun emplacements. Attacking prepared positions on a wooded hill, which could be approached only through meager cover. His company was pinned down by intense machine-gun fire and subjected to a concentrated artillery and mortar barrage. Although painfully wounded, he refused to be evacuated and on his own initiative crawled forward alone until he reached a position near an enemy emplacement. Hurling grenades, he boldly assaulted the position, destroyed the gun, and with his rifle killed three of the enemy who attempted to escape. When he rejoined his company, a second machine-gun opened fire and again the intrepid soldier went forward, utterly disregarding his own saftey. He stormed the position and destroyed the gun, killed three more Germans, and captured four prisoners. He fought on with his unit until the objective was taken and only then did he permit himself to be removed for medical care. S/Sgt. (then Pvt.) Garcia's conspicuous heroism, his inspiring, courageous conduct, and his complete disregard for his personal saftey wiped out two enemy emplacements and enabled his company to advance and secure its objective.

 

 

Macario Garcia was born in Mexico in 1920. He was living in Texas when he was drafted into the US Army
on November 11, 1942 at Houston, Texas. His home of residence upon induction was listed as Fort Bend
County, Texas, and his civilian occupation was listed as Farm Hands, General Farms. He had completed
grammar school and was single with no dependents. At the time of his induction he was not a US citizen.

 

President Truman bestowing the Medal of Honor upon S/Sgt Garcia

 

MG John Ruggles told me that President Truman, when he was putting the Medal of Honor around Garcia's neck
after the war, said, "I would rather earn this than be President."

------------------------------------------------------------------------------Bob Babcock, Past President of the 22nd Infantry Regiment Society

 

**********************

 

In 1965 Macario Garcia was promoted to First Sergeant. In 1967 he was promoted to highest enlisted rank possible
the rank of Sergeant Major. He would later receive an other promotion to Command Sergeant Major.

In 1968 "Mac" as he became known, volunteered to go to Vietnam where he would be assigned to the 22nd Replacement Battalion
at Cam Ranh Bay where he would spend six months counseling returning veterans on their benefits upon returning to the states.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Chris Fernandez, from the El Dorado News

 

 

Macario Garcia was born on January 2, 1920 in Villa de Castaño, Mexico, to Luciano and Josefa García, farm workers
who raised ten children. In 1924, Garcia's family immigrated to the United States
in search of a better way of life. He lived in Sugar Land, Texas where he worked as a cotton farmer.

He was working on the Paul Schumann Ranch near Sugar Land when he was drafted into the army on November 11, 1942.
He was assigned to Company B, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division. Garcia landed on D-Day with the
22nd Infantry, and was wounded during the fighting in Normandy. On November 27, 1944, near Grosshau, Germany,
he singlehandedly assaulted two German machine-gun emplacements that were blocking his company's advance.
Wounded in the shoulder and foot, he crawled forward alone towards the machine-gun nests, killed six enemy soldiers,
captured four, and destroyed the nests with grenades. Only after the company had secured its position did García
allow himself to be evacuated for medical treatment. He was awarded the Medal of Honor with twenty-seven other soldiers
at a White House ceremony on August 23, 1945, by President Harry S. Truman.

García became an American citizen on June 25, 1947 and earned a high school diploma in 1951. On May 18, 1952,
he married Alicia Reyes with whom he had three children. For twenty-five years he worked as a counselor
in the Veterans' Administration.

On the evening of November 21, 1963, Macario Garcia greeted President John F. Kennedy at the door of the
Rice Ballroom in Houston Texas. The ballroom was filled with a diverse crowd of attendees that included
Hispanic World War II veterans, Civil Rights advocates and future political activists. The president spoke of U.S.
and Latin American Foreign Policy and the importance of recognition and acknowledgement of Hispanic organizations
like the United Latin American Citizens (ULAC). Speaking in fluent Spanish, Mrs. Kennedy offered words of inspiration,
encouragement and hope. The unprecedented meeting by an American President and First Lady addressing
Hispanic minorities is considered by many to be the emergence of the Latino vote in the United States.
The day after this historic meeting Kennedy was dead.

Garcia died on December 24, 1972, from the injuries which he received as a result of a car accident.
He was buried with full military honors in the Houston National Cemetery in Houston, Texas. The local government
of Houston honored his memory by naming a middle school after him as well as renaming part of 69th Street in Houston
"S/SGT Macario Garcia Street". In 1983 Vice President George Bush dedicated Houston's new Macario García Army Reserve Center,
and in 1994 a Sugar Land middle school was named in García's honor.

Information taken from the Wikipedia website

and

the Texas State Historical Association website

 

 

 

 

Macario Garcia's decorations

 

 

 

 

 

 

EULOGY AT THE GRAVESIDE CEREMONIES FOR MACARIO GARCIA, C.M.H.

VETERAN'S ADMINSITRATION CEMETERY, HOUSTON, TEXAS, DECEMBER 27, 1972

BY JOHN J. HERRERA

 

Honorable clergy, Distinguished guests, members of the Macario Garcia family

ladies and gentlemen.

On Christmas Eve, this last December 24th, 1972 at 6.50 P.M. death came as it must

come to all men, to Macario Garcia, C.M.H. at Sugarland, Texas, and 37 hours later

the same call came to HARRY S. TRUMAN, the 33rd President of the United States,

from Independence, Missouri. There was a great parallel between both of these men.

1. Both were from small towns in the United States

2. Both served honorably in wars in behalf and for the United Staes

3. Both had as the same epitaph: "I did what had to be done".

Here you had two men from humble beginnings. At the start little was expected of them.

But when the call came to Macario Garica, as it did to Harry S. Truman, they rose to the

challenge & met it head on and they both lived to know that what they did was right.

So here in the great melting pot that is America, these two Americans from different heritages

and backgrounds, far apart when they started in life, somehow met and together made the same

decision, to meet any challenge and adversity and not to shirk the duty that was theirs, and theirs

alone to fulfill as was expected of them. Even at the time when "their souls were sorely tried"

They did not give up, but faced the enemy and the problem and came out with colors flying.

So death the great equalizer, finally came as it must always to all; the exalted and the humble.

Even though before their mortal end came they became among the most exalted of men; and they

never forgot it, and they would never let anyone forget it.

Macario Garcia was made in the best traditions of the country of his birth, and of his ancestors,

Mexico, and of his adopted country, the United States for which he was willing to offer and give

his last measure of devotion, all of this, as a private infantryman in the United states Army; as a

winner of the Congressional medal of Honor and finally as a counselor in the Veteran's Administration

of the United States.

In comparing the great parallel of these two great Americans today I am reminded of the words of

Rudyard Kipling, when he wrote of two other great men with these words:

"FOR THERE IS NEITHER BORDER, NOR BREED, NOR BIRTH...WHEN TWO STRONG

MEN STAND...FACE TO FACE...THOUGH THEY COME FROM THE ENDS OF THE EARTH"

Thank You

 

   

The grave of Macario Garcia

Veterans Cemetery,

Houston, Texas

Photo by Bob Babcock

B Company 1/22 Infantry 1965-1967

 

 

 

 

     

A historical marker erected by the
Texas Historial Commission
in honor of Macario Garcia
stands on Blume Road
in Rosenberg, Texas.

Photo from the Waymarking website

 

 

 

 

      Alice Garcia is hugged by her grandson, Carlos Macario Garcia, 6,
under a portrait of her late husband, Medal of Honor recipient
Macario Garcia. Garcia's granddaughter, Alicia, 5, and
Fort Bend County Judge Jim Adolphus joined her for the
unveiling of a plaque to go with the portrait.

Kevin Fujii / Chronicle

 

Medal Recipient's Portrait
Now Has a Description of His Deeds

By ERIC HANSON

2002

 

RICHMOND -- For five years, the portrait of a young soldier with a Medal of Honor draped around his neck has hung
in the rotunda of the Fort Bend County courthouse.

The only inscription accompanying the painting was, "Sgt. Macario Garcia, Congressional Medal of Honor."

Two county officials decided something more was needed, and on Monday, a plaque describing how Garcia earned
his nation's highest military honor was unveiled in a Veterans Day ceremony attended by family members and friends.

"A lot of people do not know the history behind Macario Garcia's Medal of Honor," said the county's district attorney, John Healey.

Garcia received the honor for his one-man attack that destroyed two German machine gun emplacements during World War II.

Healey and County Judge Jim Adolphus felt a description of Garcia's combat achievements should be installed next to the painting.

When the painting was first displayed in the courthouse in 1982, it hung near the front entrance, which is seldom used.

"It was a shame it was in a place that few people ever walked by," Healey said.

In 1997, Healey and Adolphus, who was then a justice of the peace, asked County Judge Mike Rozell to move it to the rotunda
where more people could see it.

Although it was in a more prominent place, the picture was not accompanied by a written description of Garcia's actions.

"We believed that the portrait standing alone was only half of the process of bringing recognition to this Medal of Honor winner,"
Healey said.

Healey said he believed it was simply an oversight that the portrait was never displayed with a written account of
Garcia's battlefield heroism.

Adolphus said Garcia, who died in a traffic accident in 1972, is the only person from Fort Bend County
to receive the Medal of Honor.

Inscribed on the plaque is the citation that was read by President Truman when he presented the medal to Garcia in a White House
ceremony in August 1945.

The road that took Garcia from the cotton fields of Sugar Land to the White House was long and difficult.

He was born in Villa de Castano, Mexico, in 1920, and when he was a child he moved with his family to Sugar Land,
where they worked as sharecroppers.

He joined the Army in November 1942, and after basic training and a stateside assignment, he was shipped to France
a few days after the D-Day invasion in June 1944.

On Nov. 27, near Grosshau, Germany, his unit came under intense machine gun and artillery fire. Garcia crawled forward
and single-handedly assaulted a German machine gun emplacement and knocked it out.

He was wounded in the attack, but a few minutes later a second machine gun began firing and he again attacked the emplacement,
killing three of the enemy and capturing four more.

"He fought on with his unit until the objective was taken and only then did he permit himself to be removed for medical care,"
part of the citation reads.

The installation of the plaque is the latest honor recognizing Garcia. Two Houston-area schools, a street, a park in Richmond
and a U.S. Army facility have been named for him.

His widow, Alice Garcia, helped unveil the plaque and said it will help others understand the accomplishments of her husband
and other veterans."It was something that was needed. Now people will know more about what he did," she said.

© 2002, by The Houston Chronicle
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

 

 

In 1981 the Houston City Council officially changed the name of Sixty-ninth Street to Macario García Drive.
This 1½ mile thoroughfare runs through the heart of the city's east-side Mexican-American community. In 1983 Vice President George Bush
dedicated Houston's new Macario García Army Reserve Center, and in 1994 a Sugar Land middle school was named in García's honor.

 

SGT Macario Garcia

 

   

The Macario Garcia Elementary School
in Houston, Texas, is named after SSG Garcia.

Click on the Garcia Gators banner above
to go to the school's website

 

 

 

A First Day Cover honoring Macario Garcia, 1966

 

 

 

Top illustration from the CMOHS Website

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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