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September 9, 2012
A Puerto Rican retiree who served in some of the bloodiest battles of the Korean War received a belated appreciation Friday from the U.S. military, receiving one of the Army's highest service medals as part of an effort to find and honor surviving veterans of the conflict before it is too late.
Luis Ramos was presented with a Bronze Star for serving as a radioman, a highly vulnerable job that required him to be in the thick of combat, as the Puerto Rico-based 65th Infantry Regiment fought Chinese and North Korean troops from 1950 until the conflict came to a stalemate in 1953.
Ramos, now 89 and living with his wife in Coral Springs, Florida, was pleased with the recognition despite the delay, which is not that uncommon among veterans of the Korean War, in which more than 36,000 U.S. military personnel died. "I feel very proud, and very glad," Ramos told The Associated Press after the ceremony at a monument to the 65th Infantry in San Juan. "This is a great moment for me."
The 65th Infantry, which during the Korean War was made up mostly of Puerto Ricans who had to contend with discrimination as well as enemy fire, received hundreds of medals for valor. One soldier, Pfc. Luis Fernando Garcia from the small island town of Utuado, received a posthumous Medal of Honor, the highest commendation of all.
Somehow Ramos, who also served in World War II and went on to have a career in the U.S. Postal Service, never received his Bronze Star or several other commendations. One of his five children, Luis Ramos Jr., said his father felt he and other veterans of the Korean War had been forgotten. The son wrote the Defense Department and they offered to correct the oversight. "It was a tough war. He was close to getting killed many times," said the younger Ramos, a software engineer who lives in St. Petersburg, Florida. "Then they come home and are completely ignored ... He's not going to be around much more and it really bothered me."
There are apparently many other military veterans like Ramos who left the service without their due recognition. The U.S. has held ceremonies like the one Friday in San Juan in 32 states over the past two years, said Army Col. David J. Clark, director of the Defense Department's 60th Anniversary of the Korean War Commemoration Committee. The ceremony was held not just to honor Ramos but also to celebrate the 65th Infantry, known as the Borinqueneers, and to help commemorate the Korean War.
The U.S. began a three-year commemoration of the conflict in the summer of 2010, the 60th year anniversary of the war's start. In part, Clark said, the missed medals reflected a desire among many people at the end of the conflict to move on. The U.S. was tired of war after having just made it through World War II, too. "Americans were just ready to turn the page at that point in time," he said. There are an estimated 500,000 Korean War veterans still alive, with a median age of 80, and time is running out to find more who should receive overdue honors. "A lot of these guys won't be around for the next commemoration," Clark said. "So as a nation, this is really our last chance to say thank you for what they did."
Ya era tiempo, caramba!
8/26/2012 - SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (Reuters) - Puerto Rican voters last week unexpectedly rejected a pair of constitutional amendments that would have limited some defendants' right to bail and shrunk the legislature in the U.S. territory to cut costs. With nearly 83 percent of the precincts counted, the "no" vote was leading 54.22 percent to 45.78 percent on the bail restrictions and 53.45 percent to 46.55 percent on the measure to trim the number of seats in the legislature to 56 from 78, elections officials said.
Puerto Rico has been suffering one of the longest crime waves in American history. The 'No y No' campaign decidedly won and this means that criminals charged with rape, murder, and other heinous unspeakable crimes are allowed by law to go out into the community on bail, free to continue their crime sprees and intimidate and 'take care' of any witnesses. Incredible!
Crime and murder are on the front pages of the island paper daily. Most of the crime is drug related and unforturnately there is always colateral damage. When police officers are killed routinely, what hope do the average residents have? These brazen criminals they have gone so far as to kill witnesses and dump them in front of federal buildings.
Puerto Ricans are always blaming the government for the high crime rate, but these are the same people who voted to let hardened criminals out on bail.
For an island with a supposedly higher than average number of educated citizens this makes no sense. I guess you can't teach common sence.
This makes you think twice about the name Isla del Encanto and makes you think several times before traveling there.
Final Count for Team Puerto Rico.
1 Silver for Jaime Yusept Espinal, Wrestling: Men's Freestyle 84 kg
1 Bronze for Javier Culson, Track and Field: Men's 400m Hurdles
January 2011, front page website
This week it was the time for this over qualified player to be selected for the Hall of Fame.
Roberto Velázquez Alomar, born February 5,
1968 in Ponce, Puerto Rico is a former Major League Baseball player (1988–2004),
and the best second basemen in history. During his career he won more
Gold Gloves than any other second baseman in history, and also won the
second-most Silver Slugger Awards for a second baseman. On January 5,
2011, Alomar was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, during his second
year of eligibility. A native of Salinas, Puerto Rico, Alomar was a switch-hitter
and threw right-handed. He is the son of former New York Mets bench coach
Sandy Alomar, Sr., a former All-Star second baseman with a 15-year MLB
career. His older brother, Sandy Jr., was a Major League All-Star catcher.