SAN JUAN – The veteran’s attorney, Agustín Montañez, classified as a triumph for all of Puerto Rico and the recognition of the value of the Puerto Rican military the approval by the United States Congress (USA) of April 13 as Day of the 65th Regiment. Infantry, known as the “Borinqueneers”.
“I feel personally moved by this great achievement, because having also served on a battlefield, I feel the weight of those who displayed the supreme sacrifice for the values of our democracy and today are compensated for their dedication and patriotism,” declared Montañez , a veteran decorated as a unit commander who saw action in the Persian Gulf theater of war.
He said that the measure promoted by the Resident Commissioner, Jenniffer González, ends the last vestige of discrimination that the members of the 65th Infantry Regiment had faced, which took more than 60 years for them to be recognized as a combat unit for bravery. and heroism displayed.
The attorney general thanked the resident commissioner for her constant support of the causes of the island’s veteran community, as well as for doing justice to the bravery displayed by members of the 65th Infantry during the Korean War.
“Our commissioner has been a consistent and loyal ally to all of our veterans. It highlights their dedication and commitment to ensuring that veterans fully enjoy all the rights and benefits that arise from their service to the Nation and Puerto Rico, ”he commented.
Likewise, he stressed that, as Resident Commissioner, today Governor Pedro Pierluisi promoted the legislation that President Barack Obama made into law, to award the Congressional Gold Medal to veterans of the 65th Infantry.
In this effort, Pierluisi was joined by Congressman Bill Posey of Florida and Senators Marco Rubio and Richard Blumenthal.
Following that, eight veterans of the Regiment received the Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor awarded to a person or group by Congress representing a grateful nation.
The former prosecutor recalled that over 700 of the Puerto Rican dead from the Korean conflict wore the colors of Puerto Rico on the 65th Infantry uniform.
This recognition touches Montañez in a very personal way, since his uncle, Jesús Montañez, belonged to the Regiment, seeing action in the liberation of Europe, where he was decorated with the Bronze and Purple Heart Medals.
Promoted by the Resident Commissioner, the resolution was initially introduced by Republican Senator Rick Scott and under the auspices of Florida Republican Congressman Marco Rubio and New Jersey Democrat Robert Menendez.
It recognizes the date on which the federal government officially awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to members of that regiment, after on June 9, 2014, President Barack Obama signed the measure into law.
The 65th Infantry Regiment was created in 1898 shortly after the Spanish-American War.
More than 62,000 Puerto Ricans enlisted in the American Army during World War II, and more than 43,000 served during the Korean War.
On June 25, 1950, North Korea launched an invasion that had been preceded by numerous border clashes with South Korea and a build-up of North Korean troops on the border.
Overall, and according to published data, for their role in the conflict, the Borinqueneers received a Medal of Honor, awarded to Sergeant Juan Negrón, nine Distinguished Service Crosses, 250 Silver Stars, 628 Bronze Stars and 2,771 Purple Heart Medals. .