JAIME LÓPEZ DE LEÓN died peacefully on April 15, 2010 in the Bronx, New York after a brief battle with stomach cancer. He was 78 years old.
Jaime was born in Barceloneta, Puerto Rico in 1931. He volunteered for the Army in September 1951 when he was 19 years old. He figured he could get veterans benefits in the Army since he didn’t have money to study.
Jaime was sent to Korea and assigned to Company “L” as an infantryman participating in the battles of Kelly Hill and Old Baldy. On August 14, 1952, Jaime received a Bronze Star for advancing through a shrapnel-torn area where he found four wounded men, administering first aid, and again braving the enemy fire as he personally evacuated one of the wounded men to safety. He was very proud of his daughter, Jennie, and his son, Jimmy, a career soldier who has served various tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He also leaves behind his wife, Carmen, after 46 years of marriage.
I, and the rest of the Borinqueneers Team who knew Jaime and who have helped me throughout the years to make THE BORINQUENEERS a reality, are grieving along with Jaime’s family because we feel like we have lost a member of the family. Jaime was involved with THE BORINQUENEERS effort since the very beginning. He, along with Tony de la Rosa Melendez (who passed away in 2004), Eugenio Quevedo and Israel Montalvo (all of whom I nicknamed the “Four Musketeers”) were the 65th veterans who attended dozens of presentations sharing their wartime experiences during our fundraising efforts and after the film premiered. They gave of their time unselfishly and supported us without hesitation. And for this, I will forever be grateful to them. Jaime had a great sense of humor. He was loyal and generous. He was very proud of his service in the 65th and extremely humble. I had known Jaime for several years before I discovered that he had received a Bronze Star but he had never mentioned it. Our hearts are broken and we will miss him dearly. We give our sincerest condolences to the Lopez family. May he rest in peace with his fellow Borinqueneers who are already in heaven. He was buried at Calverton National Cemetery in Long Island, NY.