My uncle, Corporal Rubén Acosta Ayala, died when he was 24 years old. He was born on March, 1926 in San Germán, PR but was raised in Mayaguez. While with the National Guard, he was activated to go to Korea where he was assigned to Head-quarters & Headquarters Co. arriving in September, 1950. About a year later he was scheduled to rotate home and was thinking of re-enlisting because he liked being a soldier. Another soldier was supposed to drive the jeep but he had an injury so Ruben volunteered to drive. His officer did not want him to go because Ruben was rotating home the next day. But Ruben said he could make it in time. He was killed on August 27, 1951 when his jeep drove on top of a mine, his sister thinks. Afterwards, the officer went to visit Ruben’s family in Puerto Rico to thank them because Ruben had saved his life. Ruben received a Purple Heart and the Bronze Star for Meritorious Service. Ruben’s body was not returned to the family until January of the next year during the holidays. They could not see him because the Army told them they had to have a closed casket. Ruben has a nephew named after him who retired from the military and is holding Ruben’s medals. The National Guard Armory in Mayaguez is named after CPL Ruben Acosta.
Eddie Acosta, nephew (New York)