Col. Julio C. Flores-Sánchez (Ret., ARNG)

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Co. G 1951, Retired from National Guard (Deceased 5/24/2010)

Article:

Col. Juan C. Flores-Sánchez (Ret., ARNG) died on May 24, 2010 in Lajas, Puerto Rico at the age of 79.  Juan was born on November 27, 1930 in Lajas.  He began his military career in Company “A” of the National Guard’s 296th Infantry in the town of San German.  In early 1951, he was called to active duty to serve in the Korean Conflict with the 65th Infantry Regiment.  During his combat service, he was promoted to Sergeant E-6 and later to Sergeant E-7 as platoon sergeant of Company “G” in the 65th Infantry.  He was offered a field commission as 1st Lieutenant, which Flores refused.  For his military service he received various medals, including two Bronze Stars.  While a sergeant in charge of a squad, he had to make a decision that could have cost him his life.  They were receiving merciless enemy fire without any hope of maintaining the hill they were supposed to hold, when without hesitation (as he imagined hearing “La Borinqueña” (the Puerto Rican national anthem) and seeing its flag waving proudly in his beloved Puerto Rico), he ordered his men to withdraw while Juan defended the position with his machine gun and his courageous and determined Puerto Rican spirit.  Overwhelmed by the machine gun fire, the terrified enemy fled permitting this brave native son of Lajas to hold the hill.  Flores served at the National Guard State Command for 15 years.  He joined as a 1st Lieutenant and retired with rank of Colonel.  We affectionately always referred to him as the “Audie Murphy” of Lajas.  Reported by 65th veteran and friend, Nicolás Cancel Figueroa.