Twenty-one veterans from Puerto Rico recently took part in the first Honor Flight from Puerto Rico to Washington, D.C. One of the participants was Angel Acevedo Bernal, a 101-year-old veteran who fought for the U.S. in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.
Acevedo Bernal and his fellow veterans visited the War Memorials for all three conflicts, and the Arlington National Cemetery.
The Honor Flight organization honors veterans for their service by providing all expenses paid trips to the nation’s capitol to visit national memorials. Since 2005, the nonprofit has celebrated 260,000 veterans from 44 states, and now Puerto Rico as well.
“Participation in an Honor Flight trip gives veterans the opportunity to share this momentous occasion with other comrades, remember the fallen, and share their stories and experiences with other veterans,” says the organization.
The April flight was the first trip from Puerto Rico, It was made possible by a special donation from PenFed Credit Union.
Puerto Rico’s veterans
Soldiers from Puerto Rico have served in every U.S. conflict since the Revolutionary War. According to the Census Bureau, 105,823 veterans live in Puerto Rico.
US Department of Defense Recognizes Puerto Rican Military Service
“The history of Puerto Rico is rich with the example of individuals whose accomplishments inspire us today,” said Rep. Jennifer Gonzalez-Colon (R-PR) in recognizing the participants in the flight on the floor of Congress. “They are men and women from all walks of life whose shining examples attract the attention of the world to our small island. The Puerto Rican veterans recognized by the Honor Flight Network who served in the U.S. Army in World War II, in the Korean War and the Vietnam War, belong to a long line of American citizens who did not hesitate to step into the cauldron of war when duty called.”
Image courtesy of PenFed