In the USA, Veterans Day annually falls on November 11. This day is the anniversary of the signing of the armistice, which ended World War I hostilities between the Allied nations and Germany in 1918. Veterans are thanked for their services to the United States on Veterans Day. In honor of the holiday, we decided to take a look back at some heroes who served this country and their incredible stories of bravery and selflessness.
Usually, the holiday is marked by parades and other celebrations to honor the sacrifice that service members make. This year, as with all things 2020, the holiday will probably look a little different, but we hope that veterans still feel appreciated on this holiday. Because we can’t attend a parade, we’d like to wave a virtual flag for our veterans and let them know that we thank them for their courage. We’ve collected some truly wonderful baby names from remarkable people that would be an excellent way to show your patriotism. Here are 25 baby names for boys inspired by brave Americans that sound distinguished and genuinely strong.
Corporal Alvin York fought in the Army in WWI. Although he was a pacifist, he took command of troops when senior officers were put out of action. He fought bravely and killed and captured a number of German enemies. He earned a Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross for his efforts. Alvin is a name with Old English roots that means “noble friend.”
Corporal Desmond Doss, who was enlisted though he was a conscientious objector, was a medic in the Pacific theater of WWII. He received the Medal of Honor for saving lives while he was wounded during the fighting on Okinawa. He had a wonderful name, Desmond which has Irish origins and refers to “one from south Munster.”
First Lieutenant Edward V. Rickenbacker of the Army was America’s greatest flying ace during World War I. He earned the Medal of Honor for attacking a formation of five German planes and downing two of them. For his efforts, he was awarded the Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross. Edward is an English name that means “wealthy guardian.”
One of the most daring submarine commanders of World War II, Commander Eugene B. Fluckey, found 30 Japanese vessels hiding in a harbor and damaged six of them in early 1945. His submarine managed to evade Japanese patrol boats and escape. He earned the Medal of Honor, Navy Cross for his courage. Eugene has Greek origins and means “noble.”
William Harvey Carney was an American soldier during the American Civil War. Born as a slave, he was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1900 for his gallantry in saving the regimental colors during the Battle of Fort Wagner in 1863. William is an English name with German origins that means “resolute protection.”
Lieutenant Joel T. Boone was awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism in World War I. Serving as a surgeon with the U.S. Marines in France, Boone, under heavy enemy fire, risked his life multiple times in a single day by venturing into a field to rescue wounded American soldiers and replenish medical supplies. Joel is a Hebrew name that means “Jehovah is his God.”
Colonel Leo K. Thorsness was awarded the Medal of Honor for valor in action in a dogfight over North Vietnam. Thorsness was captured and held in the same prison as John McCain for six years. Leo has Latin origins but also shares German roots with names like Leopold. Leo means “lion.”
The Pentagon did not officially keep track of how many Hispanic Americans served in Vietnam, but it is estimated that over 80,000 did. One shining example is Ramon Viera, a mortar sergeant who rescued a 4-year-old child after the child’s mother was injured by a bomb. He was part of a largely Puerto Rican unit in the Korean War. Ramon is a Spanish and Catalan form of the German name Raymond which means “wise protector.”
Despite the fact that many held negative views of Japanese-Americans after the attack on Pearl Harbor, many would go on to fight for the country they called home. Terry Shima was spared internment and instead was drafted into the 442nd, a segregated Army unit comprised almost entirely of Americans of Japanese ancestry. The unit was the most decorated unit in military history. President Barack Obama presented him the Presidential Citizens Medal. Terry is a shortened form of Terence, a Latin name with an unknown meaning.
Texas’ most decorated WWI soldier, Private Marcelino Serna fought courageously in France during the war. Serna was an immigrant and non-citizen and unlike his white counterparts who were awarded the Medal of Honor, he was overlooked. A push to change that continues today. Fittingly, this Spanish name means “young warrior.”
Milton Lee Olive III was a United States Army soldier and a recipient of America’s highest military decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his actions in the Vietnam War. At the age of 18, Olive sacrificed his life to save others by falling on a grenade. Milton has English roots and means “one from the mill town.”
Sergeant Matej Kocak of the Marines put two German machine-gun nests out of action in 1918. Kocak would later be killed in another battle toward the end of World War I. He was awarded the Medal of Honor, Silver Star. Matej is a unique name with Slavic origins that’s a form of Matthias, a name that means “gift of God.”
Vernon Joseph Baker was a United States Army first lieutenant who was an infantry company platoon leader during World War II and a paratrooper during the Korean War. Baker received the Army Medal of Honor, Purple Heart, Bronze Star Medal, and many more decorations for his courage. Vernon is an English name that means “place of alders.”
Colonel Merritt A. Edson fought for the Marines in WWII. He was honored for his defense of Lunga Ridge near a key airfield on Guadalcanal in 1942. He was given the Medal of Honor, Navy Cross, Silver Star for his efforts. The name Merritt is a great gender-neutral option with English origins that means “boundary gate.”
Powhatan Beaty was an African American soldier and actor. During the American Civil War, he served in the Union Army’s 5th United States Colored Infantry Regiment throughout the Richmond–Petersburg Campaign. He received the Army Medal of Honor. Powhatan is a Native American, Algonquin name that means “powwow hill.”
Neel E. Kearby was an aggressive fighter pilot who frequently took on superior enemy numbers. On Oct. 11, 1943, he and three other pilots went against nearly 50 Japanese aircraft. Kearby shot down six Japanese aircraft and received the Medal of Honor. He would be killed in action the following year. Neel is alternative spelling of the Irish name Neil (meaning “cloud”), but we’re going to stay true to form here. Neel is actually a Hindi name that means “sapphire blue.”
Lieutenant colonel Raymond G. Davis served in WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War. Davis rescued several Marines despite being surrounded by numerically superior hostile forces in Korea in icy, mountainous conditions. For his efforts, he was given the Medal of Honor, Navy Cross, and Silver Star. Raymond is German name the means “wise protector.”
Navy Commander Samuel D. Dealey was a submarine commander who sank the most Japanese tonnage, or merchant ships, during World War II before he was killed in action in 1944. He was awarded Medal of Honor, Navy Cross, Distinguished Service Cross, and Silver Star. Samuel is a Hebrew name that means “told by God.”
Army Major Thomas B. McGuire, Jr. McGuire shot down 38 Japanese planes during World War II, the second highest scoring U.S. ace of the war. He himself was killed over the Philippines and given the Medal of Honor posthumously. Thomas is an extremely old name with origins in Aramaic. It means “twin.”
Kenneth A. Walsh was a first lieutenant in the Marines and fought in both WWII and the Korean War. Against overwhelming forces, Walsh fought off Japanese planes attempting to bomb Allied ground forces operating in the Solomon Islands area. He later received the Medal of Honor. Kenneth has origins in both Gaelic Scottish and Irish and means “fire-born” or “handsome.”
Alwyn Crendall Cashe of Company A, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, was a United States Army Non-Commissioned Officer posthumously awarded the Silver Star for heroism in Iraq. Alwyn is a rare Welsh name that refers to a river in Wales.
Lawson P. Ramage was a Navy Commander in WWII. He was the third submarine commander to win the Medal of Honor for his role in damaging a Japanese convoy near Taiwan in 1944. Lawson is a common surname and given name with English origins that means “son of Lawrence.”
Audie L. Murphy was a Second lieutenant in the Army who is the most decorated American soldier of World War II. Murphy, who saw combat in Italy and France, is credited with killing 240 German soldiers. He would go on to star in a movie about his life. Audie is an Old English name that means “noble strength.” If that name sounds too much like a brand of car for your tastes, Murphy is also a wonderful option.
Gunnery sergeant Daniel J. Daly is one of 19 servicemen to be awarded the Medal of Honor twice, Daly was awarded his second medal for leading U.S. soldiers against Germans in World War I. This Marine also received the Distinguished Service Cross. Daniel is a Hebrew name that means “God is my judge.”
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Benjamin Oliver Davis Sr. was a United States Army officer. In 1940, he became the first African-American to rise to the rank of Brigadier General. He was the father of Air Force General Benjamin O. Davis Jr. He received a Distinguished Service medal and a Bronze Star for his many contributions and leadership. Benjamin is another Hebrew name. It means “son of the right hand.”
There you go! We hope you enjoyed these baby names inspired by some of country’s bravest heroes. This soldiers risked it all so that we can live freely. Thank you for your service!
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
- 1 25. Alvin
- 2 24. Desmond
- 3 23. Edward
- 4 22. Eugene
- 5 21. William
- 6 20. Joel
- 7 19. Leo
- 8 18. Ramon
- 9 17. Terry
- 10 16. Marcelino
- 11 15. Milton
- 12 14. Matej
- 13 13. Vernon
- 14 12. Merritt
- 15 11. Powhatan
- 16 10. Neel
- 17 9. Raymond
- 18 8. Samuel
- 19 7. Thomas
- 20 6. Kenneth
- 21 5. Alwyn
- 22 4. Lawson
- 23 3. Audie
- 24 2. Daniel
- 25 1. Benjamin
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