My name is Lewis Colon and I am a U.S. Navy veteran with two honorable discharges (1974-1978 active duty, then 1981-1985 reserve). I am a member of American Legion Post 36 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. I was born in Buffalo, N.Y., and my parents are Puerto Rican. I was given the task of continuing my family history only to find it out starting with my grandfather (Felix Colon Santana) who was a U.S. Army veteran and was discharged on April 16, 1919. I am not exactly sure when he enlisted, but I have made a request for his military records on Feb. 10, 2016, and I am still awaiting a reply. Anyway, my family (Colon) have 97 years of service with the military and so far I have been able to locate four generations of Colons within the military service, and possibly a fifth generation if my grandson decides to join the U.S. Air Force.
Generation 1. Felix Colon Santana (grandfather)
Generation 2. 7 uncles covering Korea, Vietnam
Generation 3. 4 grandchildren including myself/Vietnam
Generation 4. 2 great-grandchildren/Bosnia
Generation 5. 1 great-great-grandson to join Air Force soon (TBD)
Hispanics have made great contributions to the United States which we are all proud of. We will continue to make self-sacrifices and contribute to this great land of ours, from sea to shining sea,
I have been working along with the Military Order of the Purple Heart reaching out to all 31 cities in Broward County to become Purple Heart Cities and honor both the fallen and wounded combat veterans. I also am working with The American Legion within the respective cities to buy and donate a Purple Heart flag like the one in the picture that I am holding along with the city manager and MOPH state representative. So far, five of the 31 cities have become Purple Heart Cities (Town of Davie, City of Fort Lauderdale, City of Pembroke Pines, City of Hollywood, and City of Sunrise). On May 26 2016, the City of Coconut Creek will also join the Purple Heart City family. I still have 26 more, but at least 15 are committed. After this I will go to Miami Dade and start with the 34 cities they have.
My other hobby is going to veterans parks or memorials, taking pictures and sending emails to the respective city asking them to take action on what I found to be a problem. The problems range from overgrown shrubs, cracked sidewalks, faded memorials, repaint certain areas, change rotted or damaged benches, etc. I offer to polish brass plaques but some cities refuse any help. I recently went to the City of Oakland Park where there is an M-60 military tank, and with the help of the City and Home Depot we pressure-washed the tank and repainted the tank. Now it sits there proudly waiting for veterans to take pictures. Well, I can go on, but enough.
Lewis Colon, 954 775-6502; anyone who wants information on how to do the same in your city can call me.