Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Sidney C. Graves, who was a two-time recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross in World War I.

Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Sidney C. Graves, who was a two-time Distinguished Service Cross recipient in World War I.

Sidney C. Graves was born in Fort Logan, Colorado, in 1893. He was the son of William Graves, a West Point graduate and major general in the Army. Like his father, Graves attended West Point and graduated in 1915. Upon graduation, Graves commissioned as a second lieutenant in the 16th Infantry regiment.

In 1916, Graves saw service in the Pancho Villa Expedition, now known as the Mexican Expedition. With the U.S. entry to World War I, Graves was in the 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Division, American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) and sailed for France in June 1917. Graves and his unit went to the Cantigny sector of the Western Front.

In April 1918, German soldiers commenced several trench raids on American lines. In retaliation for these surprise raids, Graves voluntarily planned his own counterattack. On April 29, he and three other men secretly attacked. They spotted a hostile German machine gun and positioned themselves at great risk in order to eliminate the enemy position. Within about 100 yards and in full sight of the nest, Graves shot and killed the German gunner. He proceeded to use grenades to kill the rest of the crew. Graves returned to his lines with several German prisoners and the captured machine gun. This action was the first American raid on German lines in World War I.

Graves continued his service in the 16th Infantry, fighting in all the unit’s major actions. After the war ended in Europe, Graves requested a transfer to East Russia where his father was commanding the American Expeditionary Forces in Siberia. This was a force dispatched by President Woodrow Wilson to protect arms depots, save stranded Czech soldiers and possibly reopen an Eastern Front against Germany. With the Central Powers defeated, this force mainly ended up battling Red Army troops who wished to expel the occupying allies.

On Nov. 18, 1919, Graves demonstrated his selflessness in Vladivostok, Russia. While under Red Army artillery and machine gun fire, Graves rushed to a railroad station where six civilians were trapped and in danger. Disregarding his own safety, Graves saved the civilians, escorting them through enemy fire until they were in a secure location.

Graves later served on the staff of the Siberian Expedition in the U.S. in 1920. He received a Distinguished Service Cross with a bronze oak leaf cluster. Graves was also decorated by France, Great Britain and Serbia for his service. He retired from the military and entered the insurance and real estate field. Graves passed away in 1974 at age 80.

We honor his service.

Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.

Veterans History Project

This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at


Writer: Michael Veronda

Editors: Rachel Falconer and Elissa Tatum

Fact checker: Hannah Bundschuh

Graphic artist: Helena Strohmier

By VAntage Point Contributor

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Published on Nov. 17, 2021

Estimated reading time is 2.9 min.

Views to date: 236

One Comment

  1. Senior Veterans Care Network November 17, 2021 at 12:28 pm

    We honor the service of Sidney C. Graves.

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