Posts Categorized: War Heroes

US Department of Defense Recognizes Puerto Rican Military Service

The Department of Defense recently spotlighted Puerto Rico’s participation in the U.S. Military with an article bringing out the details of the territory’s service since World War I. “I’m super-proud of my heritage,” the article quotes retired Marine Corps 1st Sgt. Ildelfonso “Pancho” Colon Jr. as saying. “Like any soldier from Texas who loves his Texas… Read more »

Borinqueneers to be Honored at Capitol

After years of grassroots efforts, the Congressional Gold Medal will be awarded to the U.S. Army’s 65th Infantry Regiment, the Borinqueneers, Wednesday, April 13th, 2016, at 3:00 p.m. in Emancipation Hall in the U.S. Capitol building. The Borinqueneers sprang from the first volunteer regiment established in Puerto Rico in 1899. They were officially established in… Read more »

View from a Veteran for the June 24 Congressional Hearing on Status

This is a guest post by Dennis O. Freytes Honorable Members of the US House Natural Resources Sub-Committee and other American patriots: My name is Colonel Dennis Freytes. I’m a statutory born U.S. Citizen (with an un-permanent US Citizenship); a patriotic American Veteran, U.S. Army Retired- former Commander of Infantry, Special Forces, Airborne and other… Read more »

Congressional Medal for Borinqueneers One Step Closer

The U.S. Mint has presented design options for the Congressional Medal for the Borinqueneers to the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC), which chose the design above. The design will now go on to the Fine Arts Commission, and to military historians who will confirm the accuracy of the uniforms, according to Samuel Rodríguez, a member… Read more »

Dolores Mercedes Piñero: WWI Doctor and Pioneer

Dolores Mercedes Piñero was one of the first female doctors in Puerto Rico and the first Puerto Rican woman to serve as a doctor under contract with the U. S. Army. Born in San Juan in 1892, when Puerto Rico was a colony of Spain, Piñero was educated in Puerto Rico until Puerto Rico came… Read more »

Issuance of Borinqueneer Congressional Medal Faces Delay

It has been reported that the Borinqueneers are frustrated by the fact that the Congressional Gold Medal approved by President Obama last year has still not been issued. Senator Marco Rubio sent a letter to the president pointing out that four of the Borinqueneers, all living members of which group are in their 80s by… Read more »

Rafael Celestino Benítez: Navy Hero

Rafael Celestino Benítez is just one of many Puerto Rican military heroes, but he has one of the most dramatic stories. Celestino Benítez was born in Juncos, Puerto Rico, educated in his hometown, and then appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy by then-Resident Commissioner Santiago Iglesias. He graduated in 1939 and entered service as a… Read more »

Puerto Rican War Heroes: Agustin Ramos Calero

Puerto Rico has sent many soldiers into the U.S. military, and many of those men and women have stood out in their military service. One of these remarkable men was Agustin Ramos Calero, who served in the U.S. Army for 21 years. Ramos Calero began his military career in 1941 as a member of the… Read more »

Puerto Rican War Heroes: Rear Admiral Riefkohl

Frederick Lois Riefkohl was born in Maunabo, Puerto Rico on February 27th, 1889. He was educated in Puerto Rico and on the mainland, and had a distinguished career in the U.S. Navy. Riefkohl, known as “Rief” and “Fritz” by his shipmates, was the first Puerto Rican recipient of the Navy Cross. Riefkohl attended Andover before… Read more »

The U.S. Coast Guard in Puerto Rico

It’s called the Transit Zone: a 6,000,000+ square mile area with two primary paths. One goes through Mexico and the southwestern U.S., and the other goes through the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico. As the U.S. war on drugs becomes more successful at the southern border, the Caribbean path becomes more appealing to drug cartels. One… Read more »