Skip to content

Project Hernandez? Really?

FN Heriberto Hernandez was a Coast Guardsman who died in combat in Vietnam, in service to his country. He posthumously received the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star with “V” Device. He made the ultimate sacrifice for us, and deserves honor and respect for his actions. He was a hero.
So why must the Coast Guard belabor his ancestry?

Who cares what ethnic group he belonged to? His actions are what mattered, not his chromosomes. If his family had originated in Russia, would his actions have been less praiseworthy? If he had been a descendant of Chinese immigrants, would his actions in combat have deserved more recognition? What’s next, an “H” device for medals received by Hispanic service members? A “W” device for whites?
In my time in the Coast Guard I served with people of so many different ethnic backgrounds that I couldn’t even hope to pigeonhole them all. Most were very competent professionals, a few were dirtbags, and some were outstanding. Their ethnicity had nothing to do with it. Pimping the memory of Heriberto Hernandez to puff up the diversity industry sells his heroism short. The message is basically “Look, everybody, we actually found a heroic Hispanic guy!” That’s disgusting.
Recognize our fellow American, Heriberto Hernandez, for his heroism — along with every other posthumous Coastie recipient of the same medals. The only color we should notice is Coast Guard Blue.