Puertorriqueños Who Served

A Special Poem For Those Who Served From Puerto Rico

Valiantly you marched.

Honorably you gave.

Strong and true

Fighting for the Red, White, and Blue.


You stood for us even though

Not accepted in the whole.

A part, not complete;

Still in our hearts, we do greet.


Faith in freedom,

As you hug those you love.

Off to fight a country's battle

I must tell this lonesome tale.


Their service often lost to others.

We owe them

Gratefulness and thanks.

For giving without our asking.


Our thank you is

A stone, no flowers

Music, no song.


Puertorriqueño, oh Boricua

Today I give my honor.

Today I sing a song.


Your life was shed in glory,

Keeping freedom going strong.

My hope comes that all others

Will shout from mountains and in valleys:

Thanks To All Puertorriqueños Who Gave Themselves For Us All!

God Bless The Puerto Rican Soldiers Who Fought For The U.S.A.


© Greg Boudonck 2014

Before moving to Puerto Rico, I realized just how uniformed many people are in the United States about this wonderful island.

There were people who argued with me saying I needed a passport to come here.

There were those who thought Puerto Rico was a third world nation.

For those of you who really are not informed, you need to understand that Puerto Rico is a part of the United States. It is a territory and the people who live here are United States citizens.

The fact is: you may know a person of Puerto Rican decent and you do not even know it.

Puerto Ricans have Social Security numbers.

Puerto Ricans cannot vote in Federal elections, for that they do not pay Federal taxes.

Puerto Ricans can be drafted in the United States military if a draft is instated.

Puerto Rico, in the majority of ways, follows the laws of the United States.

Have you ever realized how many Puerto Ricans have fought for your freedom? Do you have any idea how many have died keeping terrorists and those who would destroy the United States?

This hub is being made to honor the men and women of Puerto Rico who fought for us. When you see the numbers, you just may want to bow your head and thank God for these Puertorriqueños who cared so much, even though their country has not been fully accepted by the United States of America.

Now, let's give tribute to these valiant persons.

Juan Ruiz Medina

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Public domain photoPublic domain photoUsed by permission from my wife.Used by permission from my wife.
Public domain photo
Public domain photo | Source
Public domain photo
Public domain photo | Source
Used by permission from my wife.
Used by permission from my wife.
Used by permission from my wife.
Used by permission from my wife.

My Father-In-Law

The very first person who gets honor in this hub is my Father-In-Law.

Maggie's Dad fought hard for our country in the Galapagos Islands in World War 2.

His name was Juan Ruiz Medina-April 20, 1923-October 14, 2006 . May he Rest In Peace.

Thank you Dad for fighting for us.

The pictures at the right give honor to this great man, and also to his wife (Lena) and family for their service in supporting him as he supported the United States.

By War or Service

The rest of these are listed by where the service person served.

They are in no particular order.

If you know of another Puerto Rican who served honorably and you would want them honored here, please comment with their name and service.

I am doing my best to list all, but there are many and some probably will be missed. The fact is: they are all blessed.

Spanish Civil War

Lieutenant Carmelo Delgado Delgado 1913-1937. This man was the first United States citizen to die in Spain's civil war. He had traveled from his home of Guayama, Puerto Rico to Spain to enroll in the Central University of Madrid. Delgado had strong Independence ideas for Puerto Rico and this "leaked" over into the politics in Spain. He had a fierce rage against the United States. When he was captured by General Franco's troops and faced firing squad. the U.S. offered to help him, but he refused and was shot. He was awarded the Spanish Civil War Medal of the International Brigades.

World War 1 Service

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To the right is El Morro Fort where Correa fired the first warning shots of World War 1Lieutenant Colonel Teófilo Marxuach. This image is a work of a U.S. Army soldier or employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.
To the right is El Morro Fort where Correa fired the first warning shots of World War 1
To the right is El Morro Fort where Correa fired the first warning shots of World War 1 | Source
Lieutenant Colonel Teófilo Marxuach. This image is a work of a U.S. Army soldier or employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.
Lieutenant Colonel Teófilo Marxuach. This image is a work of a U.S. Army soldier or employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain. | Source

World War 1

Encarnación Correa, Sergeant, U.S. Army. There is not a lot of information on Correa except that he was the first person to fire warning shots in World War 1. He fired them from El Morro in San Juan against an armed German ship called the Odenwald.


Lieutenant Colonel Teófilo Marxuach 1877-1939. Correa was the one who fired the warning shot, but Marxuach fired the first cannon ball that made the Odenwald to turn and retreat. He was born in Arroyo, Puerto Rico. Marxuach's Father was a two time mayor of San Juan. he was decorated with the World War I Victory Medal.

World War 2 Service

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José M. Cabanillas. This file is a work of a sailor or employee of the U.S. Navy, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.Edmund Ernest Garcia. This image is a work of a sailor or employee of the U.S. Navy, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.First Lieutenant César Luis González. This image is a work of a U.S. Air Force Airman or employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.Colonel Virgil Rasmuss Miller. This image is a work of a U.S. Army soldier or employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.
José M. Cabanillas. This file is a work of a sailor or employee of the U.S. Navy, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.
José M. Cabanillas. This file is a work of a sailor or employee of the U.S. Navy, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain. | Source
Edmund Ernest Garcia. This image is a work of a sailor or employee of the U.S. Navy, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.
Edmund Ernest Garcia. This image is a work of a sailor or employee of the U.S. Navy, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain. | Source
First Lieutenant César Luis González. This image is a work of a U.S. Air Force Airman or employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.
First Lieutenant César Luis González. This image is a work of a U.S. Air Force Airman or employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain. | Source
Colonel Virgil Rasmuss Miller. This image is a work of a U.S. Army soldier or employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.
Colonel Virgil Rasmuss Miller. This image is a work of a U.S. Army soldier or employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain. | Source

World War 2

José M. Cabanillas 1901-1979. He was a Rear Admiral who participated as an Executive officer on the USS Texas during invasions of North Africa and the Battle of Normandy. He was born and raised in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico. He gained many awards including:

  • Bronze Star with Combat "V" for Valor
  • American Defense Service Medal
  • American Campaign Medal
  • European-African-Middle Eastern Theater Medal
  • Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
  • A Whole Lot More.


Edmund Ernest Garcia 1905-1971. Garcia was a United States Navy Rear Admiral who commanded the USS Sloat in the invasions of Africa. He was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico and earned many commendations including:

  • Bronze Star witja "V device" which identifies the award as resulting from an act of combat heroism
  • 2nd Nicaraguan Campaign Medal
  • China Service Medal
  • American Defense Service Medal
  • And More!


Brigadier General Mihiel "Mike" Gilormini 1918-1988. Mike was an Air Force officer who flew both for the United States Air Force and the Royal Air Force in World War 2. Many other pilots loved knowing Mike was flying near them in battle. He was born in Yauco, Puerto Rico. Mike had many awards including:

  • Silver Star
  • Distinguished Flying Cross with four oak leaf clusters
  • Purple Heart
  • Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters
  • American Campaign Medal
  • And many More.


First Lieutenant César Luis González 1919-1943. González was the first Puerto Rican pilot in the Air Force and also the first Puerto Rican pilot to die in World War 2. His hometown of Adjuntas, Puerto Rico named a street after him as did San Juan also. He was awarded several medals including:

  • Purple Heart
  • Air Medal
  • Presidential Unit Citation
  • American Campaign Medal
  • European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
  • World War II Victory Medal


Colonel Virgil Rasmuss Miller 1900-1968. Miller was born in San German, Puerto Rico. he attended the U.S. Military Academy with honors. During World War 2, he was given command of the 442d Regimental Combat Team, many of which were Japanese Americans. He led his battalion in a great rescue of the Lost Texas Battalion in France. Miller gained many awards including:

  • Silver Star
  • Legion Of Merit
  • Bronze Star
  • Presidential Unit Citation
  • And Many More.

Korean Service

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Colonel Carlos Betances Ramírez. This image is a work of a U.S. Army soldier or employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.Sergeant First Class Modesto Cartagena. This image is a work of a U.S. Army soldier or employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.Major General Salvador E. Felices. This image or file is a work of a U.S. Air Force Airman or employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image or file is in the public domain.Private First Class Fernando Luis García. This image is a work of a U.S. Marine Corps Marine or employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.
Colonel Carlos Betances Ramírez. This image is a work of a U.S. Army soldier or employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.
Colonel Carlos Betances Ramírez. This image is a work of a U.S. Army soldier or employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain. | Source
Sergeant First Class Modesto Cartagena. This image is a work of a U.S. Army soldier or employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.
Sergeant First Class Modesto Cartagena. This image is a work of a U.S. Army soldier or employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain. | Source
Major General Salvador E. Felices. This image or file is a work of a U.S. Air Force Airman or employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image or file is in the public domain.
Major General Salvador E. Felices. This image or file is a work of a U.S. Air Force Airman or employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image or file is in the public domain. | Source
Private First Class Fernando Luis García. This image is a work of a U.S. Marine Corps Marine or employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.
Private First Class Fernando Luis García. This image is a work of a U.S. Marine Corps Marine or employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain. | Source

Korea

Colonel Carlos Betances Ramírez 1910-2001 A very brave officer who volunteered to take over the leadership of a battalion in Korea after the first leader had his leg blown off. He also served in World War 2, but is best known for his utmost bravery in Korea, and for being the only Puerto Rican to command a battalion in Korea. Ramírez was born and raised in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico. His decorations and awards include:

  • Purple Heart
  • Bronze Star
  • Presidential Unit Citation
  • Meritorious Unit Commendation
  • American Campaign Medal
  • and Many More


Sergeant First Class Modesto Cartagena 1921-2010. Cartagena is the most decorated Latino soldier in history. He fought also in World War 2, but is very well known for his heroic exploits in Korea. Cartagena was born in Cayey, Puerto Rico. His most valuable award is the Distinguished Service Cross. Very few soldiers ever attain this medal. Other awards include:

  • Silver Star
  • Legion Of Merit
  • Purple Heart
  • Bronze Star with an oak leaf cluster and a "V device" which identifies the award as resulting from an act of combat heroism
  • Army Good Conduct Medal
  • Many, many More


Major General Juan César Cordero Dávila 1904-1965. This great Puerto Rican commanded the 65th Infantry Brigade during the Korean War. He did also see action in World War 2, but was known best for his great service in Korea. Dávila was born in Carolina, Puerto Rico and grew up in the San Juan metropolitan area. The housing department carries his name here in Puerto Rico. Some of his many awards are:

  • Silver Star
  • Bronze Star
  • Presidential Unit Citation
  • Meritorious Unit Commendation
  • European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
  • And More.


Major General Salvador E. Felices 1923-1987. Felices is the first Puerto Rican to reach the rank of 2 star General. He flew many missions over North Korea, but the major achievement he is known for is Operation Power Flite. This was a round the world flight by an airplane. Felices was born in Santurce, San Juan, Puerto Rico. He earned many medals of recognition including:

  • Air Force Distinguished Service Medal
  • Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters
  • Distinguished Flying Cross
  • Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters
  • and a Lot More!


Private First Class Fernando Luis García 1929-1952. This man is a true hero. He was born and raised in Utuado, Puerto Rico in poor conditions. he joined the Marines and was deployed to Korea. He was injured in a firefight but knew his battalion needed hand grenades. As he and others were getting them, an enemy grenade landed near them. Garcia threw himself upon it to save the others. A true hero! Garcia was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. Other awards he received are:

  • Purple Heart
  • Navy Unit Commendation
  • National Defense Service Medal
  • Korean Service Medal with two bronze stars
  • United Nations Service Medal
  • Presidential Unit Citation (Korea)

Vietnam Service

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SS Humberto Acosta-Rosario.This image is a work of a U.S. Army soldier or employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.Vice Admiral Diego E. Hernandez. This file is a work of a sailor or employee of the U.S. Navy, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.Private First Class Carlos James Lozada. This image is a work of a U.S. Army soldier or employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.
SS Humberto Acosta-Rosario.This image is a work of a U.S. Army soldier or employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.
SS Humberto Acosta-Rosario.This image is a work of a U.S. Army soldier or employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain. | Source
Vice Admiral Diego E. Hernandez. This file is a work of a sailor or employee of the U.S. Navy, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.
Vice Admiral Diego E. Hernandez. This file is a work of a sailor or employee of the U.S. Navy, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain. | Source
Private First Class Carlos James Lozada. This image is a work of a U.S. Army soldier or employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.
Private First Class Carlos James Lozada. This image is a work of a U.S. Army soldier or employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain. | Source

Vietnam

Staff Sergeant Humberto Acosta Rosario 1947-1968. He is the only Puerto Rican MIA whose body has never been recovered. Rosario was born and raised in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico. His decorations include:

  • Purple Heart
  • Valorous Unit Award
  • National Defense Service Medal
  • Vietnam Service Medal
  • Vietnam Campaign Medal


Vice Admiral Diego E. Hernandez 1930- Hernandez is now retired from the Navy. His last post was Vice Commander of NORAD; a very honorable position to retire from. He was the first of Latin decent to attain this level of leadership. Diego was a Navy pilot in Vietnam and saw a lot of combat. He was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He now resides in Miami, Florida and does some work as a consultant. Hernandez earned many achievements which include:

  • Navy Distinguished Service Medal
  • Silver Star
  • Legion of Merit
  • Distinguished Flying Cross
  • Purple Heart
  • Many, Many More.


Private First Class Carlos James Lozada 1946-1967. Carlos was a soldier that i would have been proud to fight near. He was born in Caguas, Puerto Rico. He cared about his fellow soldiers so much that he knew if he withdrew with them, many more would be killed. He kept his machine gun killing Vietnamese while his fellow soldiers escaped. They had to carry Carlos' body out, but only after he had killed many. Because of his actions, Carlos was awarded the Medal Of Honor along with these awards:

  • Purple Heart
  • National Defense Service Medal
  • Vietnam Service Medal with one bronze star
  • Vietnam Campaign Medal

Panama

Sergeant (Posthumous Promotion from Corporal) Zak Hernández Laporte 1970-1992. This young soldier was murdered while he and another soldier were in Panama City the day before George H.W. Bush arrived. The non-justice caused major political upheaval between Panama and the United States. The accused murderer ended up being elected to a high position in the Panamanian government. Zak was born and raised in Guayanilla, Puerto Rico. His murder and the election of the accused has created stagnation in free trade between Panama and the U.S.

Somalia Service

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Private First Class Domingo Arroyo, Jr. This image is a work of a U.S. Marine Corps Marine or employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.
Private First Class Domingo Arroyo, Jr. This image is a work of a U.S. Marine Corps Marine or employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.
Private First Class Domingo Arroyo, Jr. This image is a work of a U.S. Marine Corps Marine or employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain. | Source

Somalia

Private First Class Domingo Arroyo, Jr. 1971-1993 Arroyo was the first United States serviceman to be killed in Operation Restore Hope. This true hero had endured fighting in Iraq to be killed in Somalia. Arroyo was born in Caguas, Puerto Rico. His awards include:

  • Purple Heart
  • Combat Action Ribbon
  • Joint Meritorious Unit Award
  • National Defense Service Medal
  • Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
  • Sea Service Ribbon
  • Kuwait Liberation Medal

Female Service

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Tech4 Carmen Contreras-Bozak. This image is a work of a U.S. Army soldier or employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.Rose Franco. This image is a work of a U.S. Marine Corps Marine or employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.PFC Carmen García Rosado. This image is a work of a U.S. Army soldier or employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.
Tech4 Carmen Contreras-Bozak. This image is a work of a U.S. Army soldier or employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.
Tech4 Carmen Contreras-Bozak. This image is a work of a U.S. Army soldier or employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain. | Source
Rose Franco. This image is a work of a U.S. Marine Corps Marine or employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.
Rose Franco. This image is a work of a U.S. Marine Corps Marine or employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain. | Source
PFC Carmen García Rosado. This image is a work of a U.S. Army soldier or employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.
PFC Carmen García Rosado. This image is a work of a U.S. Army soldier or employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain. | Source

Female Soldiers and Officers in Peacetime Rolls

Tech4 Carmen Contreras-Bozak 1919- She was the first Latino to serve in the U.S. Women's Army Corps. She was born and raised in Cayey, Puerto Rico. Here is a list of her awards:

  • Army Good Conduct Medal
  • Women's Army Corps Service Medal
  • American Campaign Medal
  • European-African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with two bronze stars
  • World War II Victory Medal


Rose Franco 1934- Rose is a retired United States Marine Warrant Officer. She was born and raised in Guánica, Puerto Rico. At the time she became a Warrant officer, there were very few women. Rose earned the following awards:

  • Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal
  • Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal with 3 bronze stars
  • National Defense Service Medal with bronze star


PFC Carmen García Rosado 1926- This woman has been fighting very hard for women veterans to have more rights here in Puerto Rico. She was born in Humacao, Puerto Rico and during World War 2 joined the WACS. She has authored one book about her experiences; it is: "LAS WACS"-Participacion de la Mujer Boricua en la Seginda Guerra Mundia. Rosada was awarded several medals which are:

  • Army Good Conduct Medal
  • Women's Army Corps Service Medal
  • American Campaign Medal
  • World War II Victory Medal

Officers

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Brigadier General Ricardo "Rico" Aponte.This image or file is a work of a U.S. Air Force Airman or employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image or file is in the public domain.CWO2 Joseph B. Aviles, Sr.. This image is a work of a United States Coast Guard employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.Rear Admiral Rafael Celestino Benítez. This file is a work of a sailor or employee of the U.S. Navy, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.Virgilio N. Cordero, Jr. Used by permission from find a grave.Lieutenant General Pedro Augusto del Valle.This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work prepared by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person’s official duties.Major General Luis R. Esteves. This image is a work of a U.S. Army soldier or employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.
Brigadier General Ricardo "Rico" Aponte.This image or file is a work of a U.S. Air Force Airman or employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image or file is in the public domain.
Brigadier General Ricardo "Rico" Aponte.This image or file is a work of a U.S. Air Force Airman or employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image or file is in the public domain. | Source
CWO2 Joseph B. Aviles, Sr.. This image is a work of a United States Coast Guard employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.
CWO2 Joseph B. Aviles, Sr.. This image is a work of a United States Coast Guard employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain. | Source
Rear Admiral Rafael Celestino Benítez. This file is a work of a sailor or employee of the U.S. Navy, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.
Rear Admiral Rafael Celestino Benítez. This file is a work of a sailor or employee of the U.S. Navy, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain. | Source
Virgilio N. Cordero, Jr. Used by permission from find a grave.
Virgilio N. Cordero, Jr. Used by permission from find a grave.
Lieutenant General Pedro Augusto del Valle.This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work prepared by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person’s official duties.
Lieutenant General Pedro Augusto del Valle.This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work prepared by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person’s official duties. | Source
Major General Luis R. Esteves. This image is a work of a U.S. Army soldier or employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.
Major General Luis R. Esteves. This image is a work of a U.S. Army soldier or employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain. | Source

Serving Officers Living and Deceased Either Under Peacetime or Served In Multiple Conflicts

Brigadier General Ricardo "Rico" Aponte 1949- Aponte has the designation of being the first Latino Director of the United States Southern Command. He was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He has many awards including:

  • Headquarters Air Force Badge
  • US Southern Command badge
  • Defense Superior Service Medal
  • Legion of Merit
  • Meritorious Service Medal with three bronze oak leaf clusters
  • and Many More.


CWO2 Joseph B. Aviles, Sr. 1897-1990 Aviles was born in Naranjito, Puerto Rico when the island was still under Spanish rule. He served with pride in both World Wars 1 & 2. He served in the United States Navy and the Coast Guard. His decorations and awards include:

  • World War I Victory Medal
  • American Defense Service Medal
  • American Campaign Medal
  • World War II Victory Medal
  • Gunners Mate Badge (Navy)


Rear Admiral Rafael Celestino Benítez 1917-1999. He was born in Juncos, Puerto Rico and was accepted in the United States Naval Academy. He served with honor in World War 2 and commanded a submarine in the Cold War. Awards include:

  • Silver Star
  • Bronze Star
  • American Campaign Medal
  • Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
  • World War II Victory Medal
  • Submarine Officers Warfare insignia


Brigadier General Virgilio Norberto Cordero, Jr. 1893-1980. This great military hero has many decorations. He was a prisoner of war when the Japanese captured him in the Bataan Peninsula. Many of his buddies died in Japanese custody. This man is the definition of a true hero. Some of his many decorations are:

  • Silver Star Medal with two oak leaf clusters
  • Legion of Merit
  • Bronze Star Medal
  • Purple Heart
  • POW Medal
  • Many more


Lieutenant General Pedro Augusto del Valle 1893-1978. This man was born in San Juan and became a great in military history. He was involved in World Wars 1 & 2, The Banana Wars in Haiti and Nicaragua, and in many other military conflicts. He had a voice in many political situations and was mighty against Communist influence. He has authored several books and he received numerous awards. Some of them are:

  • Navy Distinguished Service Medal
  • Legion of Merit w/ 1 award star
  • Navy Presidential Unit Citation w/ 1 service star
  • Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal w/ 1 service star
  • Many, Many More


Major General Luis R. Esteves 1893-1958. The Puerto Rico National Guard owes their start to this man. He was born and raised in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico and attended West Point with General Dwight Eisenhower. He even taught our President at one time some of the Spanish language. Esteves helped squash Pancho Villa in Texas and he was even elected as mayor of a Mexican village. Esteves gained the following awards:

  • Legion of Merit
  • Army Mexican Service Medal
  • World War I Victory Medal
  • American Campaign Medal
  • World War II Victory Medal
  • National Defense Service Medal

Many, Many More

In writing and researching this hub, I came to realize it easily could be a book. Hmmm, the idea is there.

I have in no way even come close to all the Puerto Ricans who served in the United States Military.

Below are names of many others who gave service to keep us free and safe:

  • SPC Frances M. Vega
  • SPC Lizbeth Robles
  • Brigadier General Hector E. Pagan
  • Colonel Evelio Otero, Jr., a.k.a. "EJ"
  • Captain María Inés Ortiz
  • Brigadier General Rafael O'Ferrall
  • Command Sergeant Major (CSM) María V. Martínez
  • First Lieutenant Hila Levy
  • Major General Emilio Díaz Colón
  • Lieutenant Colonel Olga E. Custodio
  • Chief Master Sergeant Ramón Colón-López
  • Captain Iván Castro
  • Colonel Raúl G. Villaronga
  • Private Rafel Toro
  • Colonel Antulio Segarra

These are not all by any means.

As I stated earlier, I am now considering a book on this subject. Every one who served deserves recognition. I apologize if you or someone you know and love isn't in this list.

If you would like, please include them in a comment. Their name and years of service should be given; only Puerto Ricans please.

If you have someone you would like included in the book, please contact me through Hubpages. I would love to get home pictures of the service person in their uniform.

May God Bless all who have served the United States with dedication, keeping us safe from all harm.

Now sing along with Gene Simmons and the rest of KISS!

A KISS Tribute To Our Military

© 2014 Greg Boudonck

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11 comments

lions44 profile image

lions44 2 years ago from Auburn, WA

Great job. May they never be forgotten. I learned something new. Did not know we had troops on the Galapagos Island during WWII. Thx. Voted up.


Froggy213 profile image

Froggy213 2 years ago from On A Mountain In Puerto Rico Author

Thank you lions44. I appreciate you coming and reading.


Edward J. Palumbo profile image

Edward J. Palumbo 2 years ago from Tualatin, OR

I bring to your attention Sgt. Angel Mendez, USMC, of 2nd Bn 7th Marine Regiment, who was killed in action on March 16, 1967. His conduct and sacrifice richly deserved the Navy Cross and Purple Heart. We were recruits in the same platoon at Parris Island, S.C. and, as a brother, I would hope he is long remembered.

Thank you for a well-written article. Voted up and interesting.


Froggy213 profile image

Froggy213 2 years ago from On A Mountain In Puerto Rico Author

Thank you for the honorable mention of your comrade. I agree, he deserves the Navy Cross and Purple Heart. He will surely be in the book. Thank you much for your contribution Mr Palumbo.


Milagros Cordero-Rodriguez 21 months ago

Before anything else... I salute all the soldiers in all branches, active or not. Thanks to them and to you Mr. Boudonck for keeping a light in our horizons. My dad, Luis Cordero-Murphy (1920-2012) from Fajardo, P.R., served in the Army - Infantry from 1940 - to approx. 1954-56. He retired from the Army Reserve. His papers/file are not complete due to the big fire of the 70's. I couldn't find evidence further than his DD214 from 1945. Buried in our National Cemetery, his stone reads "Corporal" and that hurts... I tried to clarify that he was not a Corporal but a Sergeant First Class. Even though I've written some letters my claims have not succeeded. Could this story be included in your book? I think that, like him, other veterans and/or survivors have gone through this ordeal. Being included in your book would be a kind of recognition to so many years defending our democracy. Thanks!


Froggy213 profile image

Froggy213 21 months ago from On A Mountain In Puerto Rico Author

Thank you Milagros. I am saddened in hearing your plight. There should be more records that would help get this situation remedied.

As for adding it to the book, that particular book is already published. Changing, or adding would be very difficult. I would probably be willing to add another edition; in doing so, I would like to add even more information.

The other option is to do a short book about your Father. I would be willing to undertake that too.

I will pray and consider it all. We will find a way to get your Father the honor he deserves.


Milagros Cordero-Rodriguez 21 months ago

Wow! How gracious of you acknowledging my message. I really thought you wouldn't answer. I am used to knocking on doors without receiving responses. But, it's a pity that I got in touch with you, Sir, a little late. On the other hand, humbled by the fact that you're even considering adding another edition (which I think you should, regardless if my father appears in the next one or not) with my father's story or writing a short book about him. I get butterflies on my stomach with the thought of that possibility. I published a book of poems in 1984 and it's a real adventure... Probably, you might help in this endeavor of finding a lost past of courage and sacrifices. I'll be praying too, that you'll be enlighten with a wise decision. Thanks! Thanks a lot, peace, health. love, prosperity and greetings for the New Year. Your new friend from Puerto Rico, Milagros


Froggy213 profile image

Froggy213 21 months ago from On A Mountain In Puerto Rico Author

Mucho Gracias Milagros.

You can find that book and more by searching my name on Amazon. May God bless you and yours.


Milagros Cordero-Rodriguez 21 months ago

Happy new 2015! For sure, I will look up for your name in Amazon and find the book. My pleasure... What have you thought about my dad? Your words were very significant for his widow (mom), granddaughter and me. Please, let me know if you come across something related to him.


Froggy213 profile image

Froggy213 21 months ago from On A Mountain In Puerto Rico Author

Happy New Year to you also.

I have done some brief searching for him and there just doesn't seem to be much. Anything you have that you could share would be helpful.

Thank you.


Milagros Cordero-Rodriguez 21 months ago

Thanks! Appreciated. I'll scan a license from The Army reserve that I found. In it there's more information. The name of a Captain, a year, and his rank as Sergeant. God bless you.

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