Concepcion G. Morón, now 88, was in Germany—a member of Company L, 304th Infantry Regiment in the U.S. Army.
“While advancing upon the town of Stoinfischbach, Company L was fired upon by the enemy from a nearby woods,” according to information in Morón’s military file.
“Private Morón... Continued to advance through the woods with his squad until they encountered heavy machine gun fire and were temporarily held up.
“Private Morón crept to a point from which he could fire upon the enemy gunners.
“He killed one member of the crew and forced the other two to surrender.”
The narrative praised Morón for his service.
“This courageous act reflects great credit on Private Morón and is in keeping with the highest traditions of the armed forces,” it reads.
However, until now, his discharge records didn’t reflect his earned Bronze Star medal and Oak Leaf cluster along with his Combat Infantryman Badge 1st award.
On Thursday, in a ceremony coordinated by Veterans Service Officer Tony Ferguson, which included a handful of veterans and close family, Morón was presented not only with the newly modified discharge paperwork, but also with the medals he was missing.
Roy Galvan, former veterans service officer and current department head of the Community Affairs, who helped get this change accomplished, said, “It is unbelievable what he went through. He is a hero. It is just amazing what he has done.”
Morón stood there, behind a multitude of medals, humble about his accomplishments.
“I am not a bragger,” he said. “I didn’t expect any of this.”
Galvan gave credit not only to Commissioner Eloy Rodriguez who offered him guidance on how to help Morón, but also to Congressman Filemon Vela for his work in getting the discharge changed.
There is still one thing left to do. Morón said that he hopes he will one day receive the Silver Star he earned while fighting in Germany.
It was that same year when Morón stood almost directly in the path of a German Royal Tiger tank.
From its massive gun, four rounds were fired.
“They could have just run over me but they didn’t know what gun I had,” Morón said. “They didn’t want to lose a tank.”
The tank backed down and went around the area.
The confrontation stopped his unit from being attacked from behind.
Morón said that the sergeant promised him the Silver Star for his actions — but never filled out the paperwork.
Now, it will take statements from three people who were there to corroborate his story, something that is becoming more difficult because so many members of his unit have since died.
“If it would have been done sooner, it would have been easier,” Galvan said.
Of all the medals that spread before Morón, two mean the most right now — the Combat Infantryman Badge and the Good Conduct Medal.
“The Combat Infantryman Badge shows that you engaged the enemy,” Morón said. “The Good Conduct Medal shows you are obedient.
“All the rest are unimportant to me.”
On Saturday, Morón is expected to be at the H-E-B luncheon for veterans. The plan is to have an officer present the medals to Morón.
Galvan said he would like to find more veterans, especially those from WWII.
“World War II is fading away,” he said. “They need to come out and tell us what they have done.”
Jason Collins is the editor at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 121, or at editor@mySouTex.com.