Curtiss S. Peck, commander, Harley-Davidson Post 400, Milwaukee, Wis., presented the American Legion Heroism Medal posthumously to 1st Lt. Daren M. Hidalgo for his exemplary service to the United States of America, his unwavering dedication to his soldiers, and his heroic leadership as commander, 3rd Platoon, Ghostrider Company, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment in Afghanistan. The medal and certificate were presented to Jorge and Andrea Hidalgo, Daren's parents.
Daren M. Hidalgo graduated near the top of his class from West Point Military Academy in 2009. Following graduation, he completed the Army’s elite and grueling Ranger School. Hidalgo was deployed to the Maiwand district of Afghanistan in 2010 as commander of 3rd Platoon. Hidalgo was highly respected by all who knew him for his leadership skills and exemplary care of his soldiers. Throughout numerous combat engagements, he gained a reputation for his ability to assess any situation and fix any problem while sustaining focus on achieving the unit’s mission, all while maintaining a positive attitude and inspiring each of his soldiers to be great. Despite being wounded in an IED attack in early February 2011, he refused to leave his soldiers to receive treatment for shrapnel wounds to his thigh, instead using antibiotics to prevent infection. 1st Lt. Hidalgo made the ultimate sacrifice for his country when he was killed in action in Afghanistan on Saturday, Feb. 20, 2011. Jorge Hidalgo is a Paid-Up-For Life member of Post 400 and a former executive of the Harley-Davidson Motor Company.