November is Warrior Care Month. It is a month dedicated to highlighting the care and services available to wounded, ill and injured Soldiers and their Families.
Fort Bragg’s Warrior Transition Battalion kicked off the month with a ceremony and plaque dedication Friday, honoring their complex’s namesake, Medal of Honor recipient Cpl. Rodolfo “Rudy” Hernandez. Following the ceremony was an open house showcasing the services provided by the WTB.
Hernandez received the Medal of Honor for his actions during an enemy engagement during the Korean War on May 31, 1951. Even though he was wounded and his rifle was rendered inoperable, Hernandez threw six grenades at the enemy and then rushed out of his foxhole toward them, armed with only the bayonet on his disabled rifle. He charged out, shouting, “Here I come!”
Lt. Col. Phillip Brown, commander, Fort Bragg WTB, said that his warrior spirit continues to inspire today’s Soldiers.
“In the face of overwhelming adversity, Corporal Hernandez gathered his courage and moved forward,” said Brown. “The Soldiers and staff at the Warrior Transition Battalion face adversity and challenges of their own and they continue to move forward saying ‘Here I come.’ When an obstacle presents itself in their path they don’t let it stop them, moving forward … here I come.”
When Hernandez was found the next morning, his fellow Soldiers believed him dead until a medic noticed him moving his fingers. His recovery was a long journey, as he relearned to walk and talk. He dedicated his life to helping other Soldiers working with the Veterans Administration.
Hernandez attended the dedication of the WTB Complex in his honor in August 2013, passing away a few months later in December of that same year. His son, Rodolfo Hernandez Jr., attended Friday’s ceremony, helping unveil the new plaque honoring his father.
“It’s quite an honor to be here,” he said. “It’s great to see everything Fort Bragg has done to remember my dad.”
The WTB will continue recognizing the contributions of wounded, ill and injured Soldiers throughout the month and highlighting the battalion’s mission to help Soldiers rehabilitate and either return to duty or reintegrate into civilian life.
On Nov. 15, the WTB will host yoga at 10 a.m. followed by “Art in the Park,” an exhibit of the artwork of Soldiers in Transition, at 1 p.m. Both events will take place in the WTB garden. There will be a wheelchair basketball tournament at Ritz-Epps Physical Fitness Center, Nov. 16, starting at 8 a.m. These events are open to the public.
There will also be a job seeker workshop for Soldiers in Transition, past and present, at the Soldier Family Assistance Center, Nov. 16, at 9:30 a.m. This will be followed by an Education Fair and Entrepreneur Fair, Nov. 20, at the SFAC, starting at 9 a.m.
For more information about Warrior Care Month events and activities, contact Capt. Sabrina Gonzalez at 907-6466.