Fla. man shocked when learning of Medal of Honor

Associated Press
These photos released by the U.S. Army show, from left, Spec. 4 Santiago J. Erevia, Sgt. 1st Class Jose Rodela and Staff Sgt. Melvin Morris. Seeking to correct potential acts of bias spanning three wars, President Barack Obama will award the Medal of Honor on March 18, 2014, to 24 Army veterans, including Erevia, Rodela and Morris, who are still alive and fought in the Vietnam War, following a congressionally mandated review to ensure that eligible recipients were not bypassed due to prejudice. Of the 24, eight fought in the Vietnam War, nine in the Korean War and seven in World War II. (AP Photo/U.S. Army)
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MIAMI (AP) — Melvin Morris says he fell to his knees in shock when the Army told him he'd be getting a call from President Barack Obama to discuss the Medal of Honor he would be receiving for his actions in Vietnam.

The 72-year-old Cocoa, Fla., man will be one of 24 veterans from three wars to receive the U.S. military's highest honor. They come after a congressionally mandated review of minorities who may have been passed over because of long-held prejudices.

In 1969, Morris was commanding a strike force that came under attack and a fellow commander was killed near an enemy bunker. Despite heavy fire, Morris retrieved the man's body and a strategic map.

Morris says he never realized that being black might have kept the Medal of Honor from him.

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