Finally Honoring a Hero of the 65th Infantry Regiment

By:Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Commentary Why this was not done decades ago is a mystery, but finally the U.S. Army is trying to honor those military heroes who should have received their medals and commendations a long time ago. One of those who finally received his Bronze Star was Luis Ramos. During the Korean War, Ramos served as a radioman. This put him in one of the most exposed positions on the front lines to enemy fire. A radioman was the one who relayed vital information to the command center of his fellow soldiers’ positions and the positions of the enemy. For this, the enemy made it one of their priorities to get the radioman. Ramos was also in some major battles during the Korean War, and almost did not survive. He fought in the famous Puerto Rican 65th Infantry Regiment that suffered heavy casualties in the Korea War, and also was one of the most decorated regiments of that conflict. Because of the rearguard fight of the 65th Infantry Regiment against the Chinese, the U.S. Marines were able to escape being encircled and crushed in northern Korea in 1950.

Despite their bravery and honorable record, the 65th Infantry Regiment was badly maligned by blatant racism and prejudice in the U.S. military of the time. For too many soldiers of the 65th, they had to contend with racist officers and prejudice as much as enemy bullets. Because of this so many Puerto Rican soldiers did not receive the medals, commendations and full honors they should have received. The U.S. military has made it a point to try and make good on its promise to find those who had gone above and beyond the call of duty and present them the full honors and medals they should have received a long time ago. This will be a hard task. There are 500,000 veterans of the Korean War still alive, and the youngest are 80 years old and above. Luis Ramos is 89 years old. The miracle is that he has finally received the honors he should have gotten decades ago. He was presented with the Bronze Star in front of the statue honoring the 65th Infantry Regiment in San Juan, Puerto Rico. At least honoring one hero of our military, however late that honor may be, is a salvation for not only the one who served but to their families as well.

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