A Colorado native who was killed in action was awarded the Medal of Honor Tuesday.
U.S. Army Cpl. Joe R. Baldonado was honored for his heroism during the Korean War.
Even though Baldonado was in an exposed position, he held off waves of enemy soldiers with machine gun fire while covering his fellow soldiers. At the end of the battle a hand grenade landed near him, killing him. That was Nov. 25, 1950. His remains have not been found.
Baldonado was awarded the Medal of Honor on March 18, 2014 after a review of service members who were previously not honored for their heroism because of race or religion. Twenty-three other veterans also received a the Medal of Honor during a special ceremony Tuesday.
"Corporal Joe Baldonado's valor and sacrifice is an inspiration to all Coloradans and rightfully earned him our nation's highest honor," Congressman Mark Udall said in a news release.
"In giving his life to defend his country and protect his brothers in arms, Corporal Baldonado proved himself to be a true hero. He gave his life so that others might live, and today we honor him and his family for his selfless service to our country," Udall said.
Baldonado was with the 3rd Squad, 2nd Platoon, Company B, 187th Airborne Infantry Regiment.
Baldonado previously received the Distinguished Service Cross, Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, United Nations Service Medal and Republic of Korea-Korean War Service Medal.
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