For years, Jim Cisneros, just 9 years old when his brother died, had been working toward the day his brother U.S. Marine Cpl. Roy Cisneros, a fallen hero of the Vietnam War, would be properly recognized for his heroism. He was not so sure 2011 would be the year Texas would honor his brother. Click the headline for the rest of the story
San Antonio.- For years, Jim Cisneros, just 9 years old when his brother died, had been working toward the day his brother U.S. Marine Cpl. Roy Cisneros, a fallen hero of the Vietnam War, would be properly recognized for his heroism. He was not so sure 2011 would be the year Texas would honor his brother. Click the headline for the rest of the story
By Angela Covo
Jim Cisneros knew only one Texan would be awarded the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor, which only comes up for consideration every other year. And he also knew the field of nominees was broad and the competition was tough and included the great American war hero Audie Murphy, the most decorated American combat soldier of World War II and the son of poor Texas sharecroppers. Still, the committee’s decision, which they all explained was very difficult as each soldier’s story was heart rendering, was also unanimous.
And so in a poignant ceremony at the Roy Cisneros Elementary School last September, state, local and school officials, family and friends and even young students came together to remember young Cpl. Roy Cisneros’ ultimate sacrifice as Gov. Rick Perry personally presented the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor, the state’s highest military distinction, to the fallen hero’s mother and brother.
In his remarks last September, Perry noted that with the presentation of the state’s Legislative Medal of Honor and the proclamation authored by Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, a framed copy of that message will remain on display at the school to ensure that Cisneros’ memory will live on.
“And now this will be a name that will live on for generations to come as young men and women come through this school; it will be imprinted upon their hearts and their memories who Roy was, what he did – to give up his life to save another,” Perry said.
Jim Cisneros was particularly glad the Governor was there to present the medal himself.
He explained the governor's presentation of the medal made a difference, especially since the Navy Cross was not presented to the family by a general or the Secretary of the Navy according to tradition, but by a lieutenant colonel instead. South Vietnam also awarded the fallen Marine their highest military decoration, the Vietnam Military Merit Medal – but it arrived as a package in the mail.
For the Cisneros family, finally, that ceremonious event provided a sense of closure.
But Tuesday night, Cisneros pointed out this was the culmination of the efforts of many individuals and at least 3 organizations, the Edgewood Vets, the LULACS and the GI Forum, who collectively yearned for justice for the 54 fallen heroes that gave their all from the Edgewood District in the Vietnam War.
Last September, when the Governor presented the family with the medal at the Roy Cisneros Elementary School, Jim Cisneros announced the family would ultimately donate his brother’s medal to the school.
And earlier this week, the family made good on the promise.
“It is my personal belief that all 54 heroes from this district acted beyond the limits of human conduct,” Cisneros said.
“It is with great pride that the Cisneros Family donates the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor to the Roy Cisneros Elementary School and the Edgewood School District to represent all of these heroes who give us the very freedoms we have due to their sacrifices. We also hope this medal serves as a moral compass for the kids of the Edgewood School District,” he added.
PHOTO: School, city and state officials gathered with veterans and students to honor the Cisneros family's donation of a true hero's medal to the school. (A.Covo)