Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon spoke in the U.S. House of Representatives on February 25th in honor of Colonel Angel Flores-Vellido, a native Puerto Rican who died last week.
“For over a hundred years, the soldiers from Puerto Rico have proved themselves second to none in battle, side by side with their comrades from across the nation,” said Gonzalez-Colon. “Colonel Flores-Vellido distinguished himself in a long military career, among the hundreds of thousands of American citizens from Puerto Rico who stepped forward and served under the nation’s flag, in defense of its security and national interest around the world, in wartime and in peacetime.”
Puerto Rico has sent a higher proportion of men and women into U.S. military service than most states. About 10% of Puerto Ricans choose to go into military service.
“Angel Flores-Vellido served the nation starting in the Puerto Rico National Guard in the late 1950s and then the Regular Army as an Artillery Officer and Foreign Area Officer, completing higher military studies at the Command and General Staff College and the Army War College,” Gonzalez-Colon continued.
The Borinqueneers, a regiment which was made up of Puerto Ricans until U.S. Army segregation ended in the 1950s, was folded into the Puerto Rico National Guard at that time.
Flores-Vellido was promoted to Colonel in the Regular Army in July of 1983.
“His service spanned from Vietnam to Central and South America, to the Joint Chiefs at the Pentagon and the CIA under President George H.W. Bush, with achievements that earned him numerous high awards, commendations and decorations including the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Air Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation and many others, before taking his well-earned retirement in 1993,” Gonzalez-Colon told Congress. “Throughout his career and in his retirement, he exemplified patriotism and the finest traditions and values of military service and personal honor.”
Colonel Angel Flores-Vellido died last week and will be buried in Dallas, Texas.
“He shall be remembered, with his comrades in arms from the past and from the present, for adding to the pages of our history and proving the worth of the Puerto Rican soldier,” said Gonzalez-Colon. “We share the sorrow of his family and friends on his passing, at the same time as we celebrate a life of service and commitment. Today we honor his memory and his service and reaffirm our commitment to do justice for our veterans and their families for all they have done for us.”