Legislation To Award The Congressional Gold Medal To 'Borinqueneers' Soldiers From Puerto Rico Who Fought During Korean War Garnering Support In US House Ros-Lehtinen Proud To Support It & Honor Valor Of Patriots Who Helped Save South Korea From Communism

Jun 12, 2013

(WASHINGTON) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), today announced her support for a bill that would award the Congressional Gold Medal to the 65th Infantry Regiment, known as the “Borinqueneers” and comprised of soldiers from Puerto Rico in recognition of this unit’s legendary service during the Korean War. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:

“We as Americans can never do enough to show our appreciation for the sacrifices made by our brave men and women in uniform. American soldiers have been tried and tested on every new battlefield, yet some servicemen in addition have had to overcome opposition from their fellow U.S. soldiers. This was the case with the 65th Infantry Regiment.

“For most of the Korean War, the legendary 65th Infantry Regiment served as a segregated unit, consisting almost entirely of soldiers from Puerto Rico. Despite facing prejudice, ‘the Borinqueneers’ repeatedly excelled on the fields of combat in Korea. The unit played an essential part in some of the fiercest engagements throughout that war, thereby saving the people of South Korea from the scourge of Communist rule. By war’s end, the 65th was one of the most highly decorated units of the conflicts, having received 10 Distinguished Service Crosses, about 250 Silver Stars, over 600 Bronze Stars, and nearly 3,000 Purple Hearts.

Soldiers from Puerto Rico have demonstrated their valor and loyalty to our nation in the many wars that the United States has fought in the name of freedom and democracy. The ‘Borinqueneers’ stand out for doing so at a time in which they also had to fight the prejudice of racism from within the Armed Forces they so loved.

As the first Hispanic woman elected to Congress, I am proud join my colleagues in support of H.R. 1726, a bipartisan bill to award the Congressional Gold Medal to the 65th Infantry Regiment. This is the highest award bestowed by the U.S. Congress and I believe the ‘Borinqueneers’ are highly deserving of this honor. Their sacrifices during the Korean War merit the respect and appreciation of a grateful nation.”