Fort Bragg’s Warrior Transition Battalion Complex rededicated its complex to Medal of Honor recipient, retired Cpl. Rodolfo Hernandez, Tuesday.
During the Korean War, Hernandez, then a member of Company G, 2nd Battalion, 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team, went above and beyond the call of duty in his actions to maintain control of Hill 420 near Wonton-ni. Hernandez fought off an attack of superior forces while suffering serious injuries.
During his speech Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Colt, deputy-commanding general, XVIII Airborne Corps expressed his pride in Hernandez and other Medal of Honor recipients in attendance.
“There are few times when anyone will have the opportunity to stand in the presence of a true Medal of Honor recipient,” said Colt. “These are truly special times and more importantly, special people.”
Colt encouraged Soldiers past and present to get to know Hernandez and his story.
“Why do men charge into enemy fire against sensational odds with only a rifle and a bayonet?” asked Colt. “I’d encourage us all of to ask Corporal Hernandez that question.
“When challenged by seemingly insurmountable injuries, pain and inevitable setbacks, what gives one the courage and strength to fight the odds, to heal from devastating wounds both visible and unseen, to rehabilitate and stretch oneself? Again, I encourage everyone to ask Corporal Hernandez that very question,” said Colt.
While the day’s main purpose was to rededicate the building to Hernandez, the event also served as an opportunity to make attendees aware of the important mission the Warrior Transition Battalion serves.
“We heal and transition our Soldiers,” said Lt. Col. Jay Nelson, Warrior Transition Battalion commander. “When they are here, we try to improve their quality of life. The first thing we do is we work with the medics to get them to a place where they can do all the stuff they need to do in life. Transition puts them back in their unit and back in the Army or out in veteran status with all their benefits with everything that they need.”
The WTB serves as more than just a place to recover for Soldiers.
“We get folks on their third or fourth worst day as Soldiers here,” said Nelson. “I want them to look forward and be inspired by folks like Corporal Hernandez. They can still do great things in their lives. Even after they get out of the Army,” he said.
“Although the Korean War is often referred to as the ‘Forgotten War,’ based on your extraordinary example, Rudy, we will never forget you,” said Colt.