CW4 (Ret) Mario Gabriel Jr

Noemí and the Crew of the “Borinqueneers”

When I was asked by my compadre, LTC (Ret) Bart Soto, who’s “Papá” was also a member of the 65th, to help with this project I thought it would be an honor. How wrong was I; it was instead a humbling experience. The honor in this experience was not my participation. It was, first, to have lent a small helping hand to such a group of dedicated professionals, who as a result of their efforts in documenting the history of the 65th, have received honors, awards and accolades from the Hispanic community as well as the entire Nation. The honor, secondly and most importantly, was the opportunity to learn the history of the Borinqueneers of the 65th Infantry Regiment. Like many others, I was aware of the 65th’s participation in the war only as a result of the naming of state highway 2 in Puerto Rico as the “Avenida 65 de Infantería. I was raised in our beloved Borinquen and not even in school did I hear of the history of our dedicated “Boricuas”. When I finally viewed the film, I came to realize the sacrifices made by and injustices that the Borinqueneers had been subjected to. I learned of their unselfish and valorous actions. The film is an emotional portrait of a great chapter in the history of Puerto Rico. Thanks to Noemí and the rest of the crew and most importantly, thanks to all the Borinqueneers of the 65th for giving me another reason to be proud of being a “Boricua”.

Note:  Mario played an instrumental role in helping us translate the military terms in the film into Spanish.  ¡Gracias a tí, Mario, por tu servicio en el Ejército y tu ayuda en el documental!