People born in Puerto Rico have been U.S. citizens since 1917. The Borinqueneers were deployed to Panama in 1943 and the Puerto Rico National Guard served in Caribbean and in Europe. In 1945, the Puerto Rican soldiers went to France to fight against the German army. They fought elsewhere in Europe as well, in Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge. They returned to Puerto Rico in November of 1945.

The video above share the personal stories of soldiers in these efforts, both members of the 65th regiment — the Borinqueneers — and those who served in other regiments.

The Pacific theater

Puerto Ricans fought in the Pacific theater as well, including  engagement in the Philippines. The video includes stories of Puerto Rican pilots who flew in China, commanded submarines, and fought against Japanese ships.

Puerto Rican women

The video also tells the stories of some of the women who served in the military in World War II.  They were nurses and in auxiliary positions rather than ins combat, but like their Puerto Rican brothers in arms, they held positions of authority and were essential in the war effort.

Drawing conclusions

The video suggests that Puerto Ricans have been undervalued when it comes to World War II. Not all Americans know that Puerto Rico sends a much larger proportion of sons and daughters into the military than most states do.

And yet, in spite of more than a century of supporting their U.S. military, residents of Puerto Rico still cannot vote for their Commander in Chief. Statehood is the solution to this injustice. In honor of the men and women who served in the U.S. military, please contact your legislators today and make sure they know that you support statehood for Puerto Rico.




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