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Fayetteville Medal of Honor recipient honored at funeral

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Cpl. Rudy Hernandez as pictured on the front of the funeral service guide. Cpl. Rudy Hernandez as pictured on the front of the funeral service guide.

A Medal of Honor recipient who died recently at Fort Bragg was remembered at his funeral Monday.

Family, friends and the broader Fayetteville community said goodbye Monday to Cpl. Rodolfo "Rudy" Hernandez. The veteran died two weeks ago at age 82 at Fort Bragg's Womack Army Medical Center.

In 1952, Hernandez received the Medal of Honor from President Truman. The award came because Hernandez nearly died while defending troops in the Korean War.

Hernandez is credited with stopping enemy insurgents and inspiring a counter attack.

Hernandez was from California but settled in Fayetteville in 1980. Since then he dedicated much of his time to wounded veterans.

In November, he served as the Grand Marshal for Fayetteville's Veterans Day parade.

During the funeral service, Hernandez's son, Rudy, thanked Fayetteville for being so welcoming.

"He was everybody's Papa, uncle, grandfather. He loved everybody. I want to acknowledge to everybody here -- just seriously thank you. Thank you so much," the junior Hernandez said.

Pastor Al Brice said the war veteran would be remembered as a soldier who sacrificed his safety for others and as a man of faith in Jesus Christ.

"Today we honor a hero of heroes, a man's man," Brice said. "He is a soldier of soldiers. He is a man of righteousness. Mr. Rudy was a born again Christian soldier who loved his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  He loved his country, his family, soldiers and his friends."

Hernandez was buried in the North Carolina State Veterans Cemetery just outside Fort Bragg in Spring Lake.

The Airborne and Special Operations Museum in Fayetteville currently has a tribute to Hernandez in the foyer. Museum leaders hope to expand the tribute into a full exhibit that explains Hernandez's actions during the Korean War.

Brandon Herring

Brandon is a North Carolina native and UNC alum who lives in Fayetteville, and covers Cumberland County and the Sandhills. Returning to North Carolina to work as a journalist is a dream come true for Brandon. More>>

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