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. | ap

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. | ap

WASHINGTON (AP) — Seeking to correct potential acts of bias spanning three wars, President Barack Obama will award the Medal of Honor to 24 Army veterans following a congressionally mandated review to ensure that eligible recipients were not bypassed due to prejudice.

The unusual mass ceremony, scheduled for March 18, will honor veterans, most of Hispanic or Jewish heritage, who had already been recognized with the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation’s second-highest military award. Only three of the recipients are living.

“I never really did worry about decorations,” said one of those being honored, Melvin Morris of Cocoa, Fla., who was commended for courageous actions while a staff sergeant during combat operations on Sept. 17, 1969, in the vicinity of Chi Lang, South Vietnam.

Morris, who is black, said in an interview that it never occurred to him that his race might have prevented him from receiving the Medal of Honor. He said it was a huge surprise when the Army contacted him last May about the review and then arranged for a call from Obama.

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