February 15, 2023

Congressman Castro Holds Posthumous Medal Presentation Ceremony for Vietnam Veteran Kenneth Wayne Pogue

SAN ANTONIO – Yesterday, Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20) held a posthumous medal presentation ceremony for the surviving family members of United States Army veteran Kenneth Wayne Pogue, a late resident of San Antonio.

First image: Rep. Castro presents the late Kenneth Pogue’s medals to his family. Second image: Photos and documents provided by the Pogue family.

To download high-quality images from the ceremony, click here and here.

“One of the greatest honors as a member of Congress is being able to recognize the sacrifice and heroism of our veterans and fallen servicemembers,” said Congressman Castro. “Through Mr. Pogue’s commitment to our nation and unwavering faith in religion and family, he worked each day to build a better future for his family and community. During this ceremony, it was an honor to remember and celebrate his service by presenting his family with the medals he earned during his time in the Army.” 

During the ceremony, Congressman Castro awarded the Pogue family with the following medals: 

  1. Bronze Star Medal with one bronze oak leaf cluster with the letter "V" device: The Bronze Star Medal recognizes service members who show acts of heroism in the field, or who are meritorious in their work. To qualify, service members must perform these acts during an armed conflict against an enemy of the United States. An oak leaf cluster denotes those who have received more than one bestowal of a particular decoration. The number of oak leaf clusters indicates the second and subsequent award of the decoration. The Bronze Star Medal with the "V" device to denote heroism is the fourth highest military decoration for valor. The National Defense Service Medal (NDSM) is a decoration presented to recognize all military members who have served in active duty during a declared "national emergency".
  2. Air Medal: The Air Medal is given to military personnel for meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight; awards may also be given to acknowledge single acts of merit or heroism.
  3. Army Commendation Medal: The Army Commendation Medal is granted for consistent acts of heroism or meritorious service. 
  4. National Defense Service Medal: The National Defense Service Medal is awarded to every member of the U.S. Armed Forces who served during any one of four specified periods of armed conflict or national emergency from June 27, 1950 through December 31, 2022.
  5. Vietnam Service Medal with three bronze service stars with one silver service star: The Vietnam Service Medal was awarded to members of the Armed Forces of the United States who served at any time between July 4, 1965, and March 28, 1973, in Vietnam or its contiguous waters or airspace; or, for any period of service during the same time in Thailand, Laos, or Cambodia or the air spaces thereover and in direct support of operations in Vietnam.
  6. Combat Infantryman Badge 1ST Award: The Combat Infantryman Badge is the U.S. Army combat service recognition decoration awarded to soldiers who personally fought in active ground combat while an assigned member of either infantry or a Special Forces unit, of brigade size or smaller, any time after December 6, 1941.
  7. Republic of Vietnam Campaign Ribbon with Device (1960): The South Vietnamese government awarded the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with Device (1960) to members of the South Vietnamese military for wartime service and on March 24, 1966, to members of the U.S. military for support of operations in Vietnam.
  8. Parachutist Badge: The Army's Parachutist Badge is awarded to all military personnel of any service who complete the US Army Basic Airborne Course at Fort Benning, Georgia. It signifies that the soldier is a trained military parachutist and is qualified to participate in airborne operations.


Details provided by the Pogue family.

Kenneth Wayne Pogue was born to Carl Pogue and Dorothy Pogue in Port Arthur, Texas on May 21, 1948. After his mother's passing, Ken's father married Georgia Broussard Pogue, and together they raised Ken with his two brothers, John and Dawayne.

Ken inherited his love of building things from his father and the phrase “Just Keep Building” became his mantra. He would go on to build a large family of his own, a loving marriage with his wife, Roxanne, and made personal sacrifices in his attempts to help build a better world through his military and religious callings.

At the age of 18, Ken enlisted in the United States Army. After he completed his Airborne Ranger training, Ken served two tours in Vietnam with the 75th Ranger Battalion attached to the 101st Airborne Division. Ken earned the nickname “Preacher” because – in addition to his combat responsibilities – he also served as a Chaplain Assistant. It was during Ken's first tour that he was captured by the North Vietnamese while on patrol with two other soldiers and was forced to endure 120+ days of extreme conditions, before escaping and returning to the 101st Airborne Division. Even after this experience, Ken was not deterred from serving his country through a second tour.

Ken’s military awards were a huge source of pride, only secondary to his pride in family and faith. As a devoted Christian and ordained Baptist minister, he spread his wisdom and knowledge to all he encountered. Ken had the kind of heart that was open to everyone. He could talk to a stranger for hours if they let him. He was a man who loved to draw, paint, woodwork, and research his ancestry. For Ken, his family was his foundation.

Ken spent the last 26 years of his life dedicated to his wife, Roxanne. As a father and stepfather to seven children, he made it his mission to create a place of faith, love, and happiness so everyone could thrive. Ken encouraged and comforted his loved ones but never steered. Many of his children admit to testing his patience, but he always responded with the greatest gift of unconditional love. The family he helped create would eventually continue to grow, and as it did, so would his pride. On June 22, 2022, Ken passed away, leaving behind 13 grandchildren who remember him fondly.