65th Infantry Regiment ("The Borinqueneers") memories

The 65th Infantry Regiment, "The Borinqueneers," a majority all-volunteer Puerto Rican unit from the Puerto Rican National Guard, was activated to deploy to the Korean War in 1950. Despite being an essential part of the U.S. Army and that Puerto Rico was a U.S. territory, the Army still considered them outsiders. How did separate groups like other military members, former members of the company, and their families remember the 65th Infantry Regiment during and after the Korean War? It is necessary to understand that for the soldiers of the 65th Infantry Regiment, serving in the Army was a matter of pride, the willpower to demonstrate that the Puerto Ricans were also Americans, ready to defend their country at all costs. It was a way to assure the United States that the colonized accepted their colonizers. For the soldiers of the 65th Infantry Regiment who experienced the event firsthand, it is a story remembered with pain, sadness, disappointment, sacrifice and pride. A war not only with China and its allies but also with those who were supposed to be their most significant support, their officers." We did not have the appropriate clothes or armament, which made it so much more challenging; the treatment toward us was unfair and unjust. We had combat fatigue, but nobody cared; enduring that situation was almost impossible; we only had one option: accept the circumstances and face them." stated Anibal Albertorio. Other military members remember the 65th Infantry Regiment as a group of old-time warriors, valiant, daring, tough, resilient, proud of their heritage, willing and go-getters; Col. Paul E. Berg stated, "They fought for their regiment, their leaders and each other. This is held in most outfits, especially in the 65th Infantry Regiment; they have something to prove to the rest of the Army. The Borinqueneers languished in the same netherworld as white officers led the Jim Crow African American outfits; they stood at the end of the line when it came to getting the better barracks, the newer gear or the premier missions. Very few ambitious white regular Army officers wanted to serve in such units." The family members of the soldiers of the 65th Infantry Regiment remember the circumstances the regiment faced as traumatic and worrisome. “Like a mother, I suffered to know and remember that my sons are in danger, but it is comforting to know that they are defending democracy against communist threats," said Diaz.

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