Each day, the VA honors a special military veteran for their dedicated service on their blog, VAntage Point. Today’s featured military member is a veteran who got his start in the US Army almost 80 years ago.
Maximino Hernandez began US Army basic training in 1941 at Camp Tortuguero in Veja Baja, Puerto Rico. Following training, he served as an infantryman gunner in the 65th Infantry Regiment of Company M through campaigns in Rhineland in western Germany and throughout Central Europe until 1945, when he was wounded in a vehicle accident during tactical maneuvers.
Hernandez received a Purple Heart following his vehicle accident and was awarded a Combat Infantryman Badge for his engagement in combat. Additionally, Hernandez was given a European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with two bronze stars for his service in the European Theatre of Operations during the second World War, an American Defense Service medal with a Foreign Service Clasp, and seven Overseas Service Bars for his service outside the United States. He also received a World War II Victory Medal.
After leaving the Army, Hernandez lived in Wisconsin where he worked at a steel casting company. He eventually moved back to his home town of Barranquitas, Puerto Rico, where he lives with his daughter. Hernandez even turned 100 years old in November of this year!
Thank you for your service, Hernandez.