SGM Antonio Lopez-Aponte (Ret.)

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Co. L 1944; Co. E 1950-53; Bronze Star, Purple Heart; served for 30 yrs. (Deceased 2/28/2012)


SGM Antonio Lopez Aponte (Ret.) was born in Cidra, but grew up in Caguas, Puerto Rico.  He is 82 years old and a resident of Georgia. SGM Lopez had an honorable and distinguished military career of 29 years, 6 months and 12 days. 


These are some highlights of his career:


Although underage, he joined the Army 20 November 1944, was assigned to Co. L 65th Infantry. He was sent to Trinidad, as the 65th was in Europe?  As the war ended, due to demobilization, he was discharged 18 May 1946 as a Sgt. On 18 December 1946 he reenlisted being assigned to Co. E 65th Infantry-at Henry Barracks, Cayey, Puerto Rico.  He was deployed to Korea with the 65th, July 1950- 1951.  While stationed in Gelnhousen, Germany, (1958 – 1962) he had the privilege of serving with Platoon Leader 2nd Lt. Colin Powell (Gen. Colin Powell) first command, Co. B 2nd ABB 48th Inf. and Co. D 2nd AAB 48th lnf.  From 16 August 1965 – 7 July 1966 he was in the Vietnam combat.  He was a member of 11th Air Assault test concept, later becoming the 1stCavalry Div. at Ft. Benning, GA before deploying to Viet Nam.  On 12 November 1965, his enlistment was up while in combat at An-Khe, Viet Nam with Co. C 2nd Bn. 5th Cav. 1st Cav. Div., where he reenlisted.  Returned to Ft. Benning as 1st Sgt. 3rd Ranger Co. The School Brigade. Went back to Viet Nam 27thAugust 1969 through 23rd August 1970 for the second time and his Third combat assignment.  Retired in 1974; having served since WWII.



~ Bronze Star Medal with 3 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters Letter “V” Device
~ Air Medal Army Commendation Medal with 2 Bronze Leaf Clusters
~ Purple Heart
~ Good Conduct Medal w/clasps Silver w/3 Loops
~ Presidential Unit Emblem
~ Valorous Unit Emblem
~ American Campaign Medal
~ WWII Victory Medal
~ National Defense Service Medal w/ 1 Bronze Oak Leave Cluster
~ Korean Service Medal w/1 Silver Star
~ Vietnam Service Medal w/2 Bronze Stars; w/1 Silver Star
~ Combat Infantry Badge
~ Combat Infantry Badge Second Award
~ United Nations Service Medal
~ Republic of Vietnam Campaign Ribbon w/Device (1960)
~ Expert Badge w/Rifle Bar
~ Marksman Badge w/Machine Gun Bar
~ Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross w/Palm Unit Citation Badge
~ Republic of Vietnam Civil Actions Honor Medal
~ First Class Unit Citation Badge
~ Honorable Service Lapel Button WWII 


Submitted by his daughter Carmen Lopez (2009)


SGM Antonio Lopez Aponte (Ret.), age 84, died on February 28, 2012 in Columbus, Georgia.  Lopez Aponte was born June 29, 1927 in Cidra, Puerto Rico. He had an honorable and distinguished career for 29 years retiring from the Army in 1974. Although under age, he joined the Army in 1944, and was deployed and assigned to several military installations throughout his illustrious career. He served in both the Korean and Vietnam Conflicts. During one of his assignments in Geinhousen, Germany, he had the privilege of serving with Platoon Leader 2LT Colin Powell’s (General Colin Powell) first command.  During his distinguished career, he was awarded the Air Medal; Bronze Star (3OLC) and Letter “V”; and Purple Heart. Lopez Aponte enjoyed playingsoftball and tennis and was a member of CORTA for several years. He is survived by three daughters and two sons, and his devoted former wife, Carmen Lopez. Reported by his wife, Carmen.

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