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Veterans in Congress May See Puerto Rico Differently

The new Freshman class in Congress contains the largest percentage of veterans seen in a decade.  From California’s Gil Cisneros, a former Navy officer, to Florida’s Rep. Michael Waltz, a former Green Beret, to New Jesey’s Christina Houlahan, a former Air Force officer, 19 of the new representatives have served in the U.S. military.

Six of the veterans in Congress this year are women. That is the largest number of female veterans serving in Congress together in U.S. history.

Altogether, there are 96 veterans currently serving in Congress.

Do veterans respond differently to Puerto Rico?

Until Hurricane Maria struck, fewer than half of Americans in national polls realized that residents of Puerto Rico are citizens of the United States. Veterans of the U.S. military have a different experience. Puerto Rico sends a higher proportion of the population to the U.S. military than the States do. Having served alongside men and women from Puerto Rico, veterans have first-hand experience of the patriotism and dedication of people from the Island.

Historically, this fact has led to greater support for Puerto Rico statehood from veterans than from the general population. Puerto Rico formally requested statehood in January, 2018. Congress did not take action on that request in 2018.

Will the large proportion of veterans in this year’s incoming class of representatives change things for Puerto Rico?

America favors statehood

A Rasmussen Reports poll in January, 2018, found that the majority of respondents favored statehood for Puerto Rico. 47% wanted to see statehood for Puerto Rico, compared with 34% opposing statehood. This percentage has showed a steady increase in Rasmussen Reports polling on this topic.

Organizations such as the Vietnam Veterans of America have publicly supported statehood for Puerto Rico. It remains to be seen whether the high proportion of veterans in the new crop of legislators will continue on that path.

1 thought on “Veterans in Congress May See Puerto Rico Differently”

  1. Patriots-American Veterans for US Veterans Equal Rights
    US Veterans from the US Territory of Puerto Rico, along with other American Veterans, sacrificed; shed sweat blood and tears for our noble US Flag-“WE THE PEOPLE”- (you), since 1899 (WW-I; WW-II; Korea, Vietnam, Global War on Terrorism…until today), yet, still face Federal discrimination; closet racism; don’t have all rights or benefits that other US Citizens have!

    One patriotic example, the Borinqueneers, won various Individual and Unit Battlefield awards for gallantry ((includes Presidential Unit Combat Citations; Medal of Honor…)! Plus, the US 65th Infantry was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal-highest honor that the US Congress and US President can bestow.

    Also, among their heroic feats, the Borinqueneers conducted the last Regimental Bayonet charge in US Army History; FIXED BAYONETS against a superior Chinese force, TOOK THE HILL…! Many now reside in Florida and other States.

    These heroic American Veterans and millions of other 2d Class US Citizens-US Veterans, still face Federal Government discrimination; closet racism…–can’t vote for their US President; don’t have just representation in the US Congress nor full blood earned benefits nor parity in Federal Laws nor have a permanent statutory US Citizenship (no matter where they reside)!

    The US Congress, without millions of fellow 2d Class US Citizens-American Veterans consent controls Puerto Rico’s Borders, currency, defense, foreign affairs… and oversees all Territory (Commonwealth-ELA) Laws, IAW the old US Constitution Territorial Clause, and Insular Cases (1901-1925+ based on racism of the times) that determined the US Constitution does not fully apply to Puerto Rico…until today!

    All Territories, before Puerto Rico, that became States were not treated in this discriminatory fashion!

    After 120+years of Federal discrimination, help resolve the disparity, and PR’s “Economic-Jobs; Fiscal; Infrastructure; Humanitarian-Social; and Status-Equality CRISIS” (where each part affects the other; the Status affects everything to include FAIR competition in a level playing field)!

    UNITE with truth, reason, courage, and CIVIC ACTION to support Federal FAIR-TREATMENT-EQUAL RIGHTS for all Puerto Ricans!

    Contact the US President, US Senators, and Congressman to do a sanction Referendum to grant Statehood–with a defined “YES or NO” Vote. (Alternative: STATEHOOD vs INDEPENDENCE- without or with a PACT of Free Association)

    LET the People decide on non-territorial (Colonial) constitutional options; achieve Federal “consent of the governed” as we guard against a tyranny of a majority!


    *Dennis Freytes, US Army Retired; Community Servant Leader; Florida Veterans Hall of Fame-
    (1st Boricua-Hispanic-by FL Governor-US Senator Rick Scott; House and Senate; Name inscribed inside Florida Capitol)
    *Son of Borinqueneer Celio Freytes-Menendez; Uncles Erasto and Anibal

    PICTURES: depiction of Borinqueneers taking the Hill

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