84R29026 JGH-D
  By: Rodríguez S.C.R. No. 46
         WHEREAS, The Texas Legislative Medal of Honor was established
  to recognize gallant and intrepid service by a member of the state
  or federal military forces, and U.S. Army Private Marcelino Serna
  proved himself a deserving recipient of this prestigious honor with
  his heroic actions during World War I; and
         WHEREAS, Born in Chihuahua, Mexico, in 1896, Mr. Serna came
  to the United States as a young man and spent time in Texas, Kansas,
  and Colorado; after the United States entered World War I in 1917,
  he enlisted in the U.S. Army at the age of 20, and after only three
  weeks of training, he was shipped overseas with the 355th Infantry,
  89th Division; when his superior officers in France learned that he
  was not a U.S. citizen, they gave him the opportunity to return
  home, but Private Serna chose to stay and fight; and
         WHEREAS, Private Serna quickly established himself as a
  remarkable soldier, and on at least two occasions, he demonstrated
  exceptional resourcefulness and courage; during an engagement near
  the French town of St. Mihiel, 12 members of his unit were hit by
  fire from an enemy machine gun, and Private Serna obtained
  permission from his lieutenant to scout out the gun emplacement on
  his own; moving through heavy fire, and surviving two rounds that
  were deflected by his helmet, he tossed four hand grenades into the
  machine gun nest, killing six of the enemy; he then took the eight
  survivors captive; and
         WHEREAS, Shortly thereafter, during the Meuse-Argonne
  campaign, Private Serna embarked on a second lone scouting mission;
  he began by wounding a German sniper with a shot from 200 yards,
  then followed the injured man into a trench; firing and hurling
  grenades in all directions to make it seem as if he were part of a
  larger force, he shot three German soldiers immediately, then
  attacked an enemy dugout, felling 26 more and capturing 24; he
  single-handedly held the prisoners at gunpoint until other members
  of his unit arrived; and
         WHEREAS, Private Serna continued to serve in combat until the
  end of the war, receiving a wound in each leg, and while he was
  recovering in a French hospital, he was presented with the
  Distinguished Service Cross from the American commander in France,
  General John J. Pershing; he also earned the World War I Victory
  Medal with five stars, the Victory Medal with three campaign bars,
  the St. Mihiel Medal, the Verdun Medal, and two Purple Hearts; he
  was further decorated by the governments of France, Italy, and the
  United Kingdom, receiving two French Croix de Guerre with Palm
  Medals, the French Medaille Militaire, the French Commemorative
  Medal, the British Medal of Honor, and the Italian Cross of Merit;
         WHEREAS, After returning to the United States, Mr. Serna
  became a U.S. citizen in 1924 and settled in El Paso, where he lived
  until his death in 1992; he was the most decorated Texas veteran of
  World War I, winning every major military award short of the
  Congressional Medal of Honor, and petitions have been put forth on
  several occasions to grant him that commendation as well; and
         WHEREAS, Marcelino Serna's courageous battlefield actions
  during World War I have been recognized with a host of illustrious
  commendations, and it is indeed appropriate that he be honored with
  the highest military award granted by the state in which he made his
  home; now, therefore, be it
         RESOLVED, That the 84th Legislature of the State of Texas
  hereby direct the governor of the State of Texas to posthumously
  award the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor to Marcelino Serna in
  recognition of his valiant efforts during World War I.