Jose G. Velez

I’m going to wait to see the repeat of this important documentary film on the 65th Puerto Rican Regiment. It is unfortunate that I only saw the last few minutes of the film on NYC’s TV 21. But I have to say that it did bring forth a well-spring of pride to be Puerto Rican and an American too. Although I’m essentially a pacifist, it does not cloud my thoughts that many our of men fought bravely and with strong convictions that what they were doing was justified for the essential freedom of the Korean peoples of the Southern half of this peninsula. They fought and died for their beliefs in themselves and in their respective “countries” – Puerto Rico and The United States. My father told me that after WWII ended he left the armed forces and soon came to the mainland, to the city of New York. If he had decided to remain in the armed forces he says he would have been deployed along with the 65th regimental Puerto Rican men. But he had no idea that war was on the horizon once again five years later after The Second World War ended. Sometimes I wonder what would have happened to him had he stayed in US Army in PR. Would he have been one of the brave soldiers who died their on Kelly Mountain or Jackson Heights? What would our lives be like today had he gone, and who knows what could have happened to him. I raise a toast to all PR soldiers who participated in so many American wars for the past 100 years, and did so with such bravery and sacrifice.

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