Carmen Manly

First let met thank all, on behalf of my father, Nazario Veguilla, who worked tirelessly to obtain the Congressional Gold Medal (CGM) for the Borinqueneers, U.S. Army Infantry Regular from Puerto Rico. My father was an intelligent yet humble Jibaro from Guavate, Caguas, Puerto Rico who heard the United States call to arms and didn’t think twice about joining. He barely spoke English and had never been outside of the region of Caguas … quite brave, the attitude and spirit shared by all those Borinqueneers. He is now 94 years old and forgets things, so my sisters and I are very relieved that he related many memories of his military adventures to us over the years, and that we had the foresight to make notes and keep photos and records, for it would have been lost otherwise. 

According to his Army separation papers he entered service April 10, 1944 Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico. He was in Company C 65th Infantry. His military campaign assignment was Rhineland, Central Europe. American Theater, USA Atlantic.  He was 25 years old. He was Honorably Discharged from Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico, March 14, 1946 as PVT. First Class, Reason: Demobilization Radiogram 1000 (assuming this was a radio communications unit; more importantly, where he developed his lifelong expertise in electronics). Decorations and Citations included American Theater Service Medal, WW II Victory Medal, 2 Overseas Service Bars, European African Middle Eastern Theater Service Medal with 2 Bronze Stars. He still speaks proudly of his military days. He often says, “Tu sabias que yo era soldado?”

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