Vietnam Medal of Honor Recipient brought home to Phoenix

U.S. Marine Corps Col. Steven Weintraub bids a final goodbye to 1969 Congressional Medal of Honor recipient U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jose Francisco Jimenez, during the internment of Jimenez in Phoenix on Jan 17, 2017. Jimenez, originally a native of Mexico, moved with his family to Red Rock, Ariz. when he was 10 years old. Jimenez went on to the join the Marine Corps after graduating high school in 1968, before later being shipped to the Republic of Vietnam in February of 1969. In August of 1969, Jimenez was killed in action upon posthumously receiving the Medal of Honor for his courageous actions in selflessly sacrificing himself for his comrades and country. “My brother can finally be laid to rest with our Mom,” said Pilar Jimenez, Jose’s older sister. “Even though we had a ceremony in Mexico, she always thought and hoped he would come back home.” Pilar said this was a lifelong dream and seeing it come into fruition has her at a loss for words. “It is an important story that not only needs to be told, but echoed throughout the community, the Marine Corps, and the country,” said Col. Steven Weintraub, officer in charge of the internment. “This is about an individual who was not even a U.S. citizen, but who had done so much for this country because he felt the country had done so much for him and his family.” Weintraub added that during the time when Jimenez was killed and interned, the Marine Corps was incredibly constrained as far as what they could do for him because he was buried in Mexico. “This comes full circle and I am so happy his family was able to see and be apart of this during their lifetime, aside from his mother who passed away in 2010.” (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Tyler J. Bolken)