Ruben Mendez Goytia. 94 of Kissimmee. FL was born in Gurabo. Puerto Rico on March 22 of 1927. His parents were Justo Mendez and Goya Goytia. who were blessed with nine other children. He lived most of his life in Puerto Rico. but also had the privilege to live many years in the United States in the State of Florida. Ruben was a man of courage. valor. and tenacity as he willingly answered to the call of duty.In 1950 at the age of 23. he was drafted into the United States army under Puerto Rico’s 65th Infantry Regiment. nicknamed ‘The Borinqueneers”. He was at the combat forefront of the Korean War for one year. Upon his return from the war. he completed the rest of his military career and lived in Japan, Hawaii. and the United States mainland. He retired as a Sergeant in the armed forces. He had the opportunity to help his parents purchase a home from the earnings of his military career. After the military, he held different positions within the offices of the Puerto Rican government.
After returning from war. Ruben met the love of his life Carmen Caraballo Mangual. Curiously enough, his beloved mother Goya introduced him to Carmen. Ruben and Carmen exchanged bows on July 14 of 1956. Three sons were born from their beautiful marriage. As a family. they lived in various areas in Puerto Rico. including the Metropolitan area. Carolina. and Caguas. Eventually they returned to their hometown of Gurabo in the latter years. Ruben was a man who truly enjoyed living life. He played many roles in his lifetime; he was a loving son, a devoted husband, caring father, proud grandfather, affectionate great grandfather, and an admired uncle. brother and friend. He loved his family dearly and always strived to implant good values amongst them. He encouraged love and respect above everything else.
In his late age, Ruben was awarded the “Borinqueneers Congressional Gold Medal”, a Congressional Gold Medal given to Puerto Rico’s 65th Regiment. On May 22. 2014. the United States House of Representatives and Senate approved the Bill to recognize the 65th Infantry; the first segregated Hispanic military unit. and the first unit of the Korean War, to receive such distinction. An honor that Ruben was able to presence in his lifetime. He is survived by his loving wife Carmen; three sons. Adrian. Ivan and Ruben Elias; his daughter-in-law’s. Jenny, Irma. and Maritza: his siblings, Justo and Doris; his grandchildren. Yirma. Adriana. Ivan. Ileana. Melanie. Haydi and Rocfo; his great grandchildren. Broderick,
Conrad, Stellarose, and Diego.