viernes, 27 de agosto de 2010

Puerto Ricans Contributions to All Wars By Dr. Frank J. Collazo

Part I – Puerto Ricans Contributions to All Wars - WWI Thru Vietnam By Dr. Frank J. Collazo
August 26, 2010


The purpose of this report is to highlight the contributions of Puerto Ricans to all wars. I am not carrying the bucket of a “group of whiners (cry babies)” just highlighting their contributions. I launched this investigation to quantify the contributions of Puerto Ricans to all wars from WWI to the Vietnam War. The report is based on facts described in the Bibliography listed in the report. In the last two years, I have sensed that some Americans do not have a clue regarding the contributions that Puerto Ricans have made in all wars.

The aim and concept of the Nationalist party has contributed to the dissolution of the glue between the USA and Puerto Rico. The rejection of the State Governor of Puerto Rico of the Vieques operation has been a distraction to relations between the USA and Puerto Rico. This incompetent governor disregarded the economic benefits of the military base to Puerto Rico, and the US government caved in to his demand without justification.

The US government had the right to sustain the bases without any intervention from the local government. This action by the governor was unpatriotic and irresponsible. The rejection of the Vieques operation is not discussed in this report. The fact of the matter is that Puerto Rico is a territory of the USA with an arrangement of a Commonwealth form of government for insular matters. We cannot afford this dissolution; we are all Americans and we must stand together to meet the challenges of the 21st Century. It is focused on the heroic contributions of Puerto Ricans in all USA wars except the Civil War. Other issues that are pertinent to the theme of the report are included: Why Puerto Ricans do not vote in Presidential elections, the chronology of the citizenship legislation, and the recognition of US citizenship.

The report is comprised of two parts. Part I is the Contributions of Puerto Ricans in the Military, and Part II is the Chronology of the Nationalist Party charter triggered by discrimination practices experienced by Puerto Ricans in WWI and WWII. Only three percent of the population is members that represent this subversive organization, and the media has vigorously heralded their actions. However, the media has failed to address the patriotic actions of the other 97% of the population. It is an attempt to elucidate this misunderstanding by many Americans.

The contribution of Puerto Ricans from WWI thru Vietnam has been underestimated by several government officials and most of the public. In 1906, a group of Puerto Ricans met with the appointed Governor Winthrop and suggested the organization of a Puerto Rican National Guard. The Governor was appointed by the President of the United States of America (the Secretary of the Interior provided the oversight). The petition failed because the U.S. Constitution prohibits the formation of any Armed Force within the United States and its territories without the authorization of Congress.

The discrimination practices WWI of assigning Puerto Ricans who appeared to have African descent to black units of the Army triggered the motivation of these victims of discrimination to organize the Nationalist Party. The charter of this party was designed to be a subversive organization. The leader of the Nationalist party served in WWI and served as the platoon leader of a truck company in a black organization with a degree in physics (graduated with honors from Harvard) and discharged in 1919.

During WWII, the discrimination was very obvious in segregating Puerto Ricans who appeared to have African descent. The state of North Carolina refused to host the 375th regiment because the Puerto Ricans didn’t appreciate the segregation laws of the south. Therefore, they were deployed to Panama to defend the canal. When a Puerto Rican regiment was deployed to Europe, they kept the segregation along the black organizations. The Nationalist Party capitalized on these issues of discrimination to advance their cause.

The Vietnam War coincided with the protests of the Civil Rights Movement during the 1960s America. Minority groups such as Hispanics were discriminated at home and within the U.S. armed forces. According to a study made in 1990 by the Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University, Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, and the New York State Psychiatric Institute, called the National Survey of the Vietnam Generation (NSVG), Hispanics, among them Puerto Ricans, were younger than both Black and White majority veterans when they went to Vietnam. Hispanics experienced more prejudice and discrimination in Vietnam than Blacks.

Minority groups would often band together with those of their own racial or ethnic backgrounds. One such group was "Puerto Rican Power in Unity" which eventually became "Latin Power in Unity." The objective of this group was to unite all the Hispanic Marines regardless of their national background as a brotherhood. Together they shared their cultures and demanded to be treated equally as their Black and White counterparts in the military.

We must distinguish that the Puerto Ricans and people of Puerto Rican descent have participated as members of the United States Armed Forces in every conflict in which the United States has been involved since World War I.

One of the consequences of the Spanish-American War was that Puerto Rico was annexed by the United States in accordance to the terms of the Treaty of Paris of 1898, ratified on December 10, 1898. Puerto Ricans became U.S. citizens as a result of the 1917 Jones-Shafroth Act and those who were eligible were expected to serve in the military. Puerto Ricans who resided in the island were assigned to the "Porto Rico Provisional Regiment of Infantry," organized on June 30, 1901, and served in World War I.

Those who resided in the mainland United States served in regular units of one of the following branches of the United States military, the United States Marine Corps, Army or the Navy. The Porto Rico Regiment was renamed the 65th Infantry Regiment under the Reorganization Act of June 4, 1920 and went on to serve in World War II and the Korean War as the only segregated Army unit where its members distinguished themselves in combat.

On July 25, 1952, the Constitution of Puerto Rico was proclaimed by Governor Luis Muñoz Marín and the island, which continues to be an unincorporated territory of the United States, adopted the name of Estado Libre Asociado (literally translated as "Free Associated State"), officially translated into English as Commonwealth, for its body politic. However, the military continued to be under U.S. jurisdiction. The 65th Infantry was deactivated in 1956, however, the Department of the Army was persuaded to transfer the 65th Infantry from the regular Army to the Puerto Rico National Guard. Since then Puerto Ricans have served in regular integrated units of the military.

In October 1940, the 295th and 296th Infantry Regiments of the Puerto Rican National Guard, founded by Major General Luis R. Esteves, were called into Federal Active Service and assigned to the Puerto Rican Department in accordance with the existing War Plan Orange.

During World War II, it is estimated by the Department of Defense that 65,034 Puerto Ricans served in the U.S. military. Soldiers from the island, serving in the 65th Infantry Regiment, participated in combat in the European Theater — in Germany and Central Europe. Those who resided in the mainland of the United States were assigned to regular units of the military and served either in the European or Pacific theaters of the war. Some families had multiple members join the Armed Forces. Seven brothers of the Medina family known as "The fighting Medinas" fought in the war. They came from Rio Grande, Puerto Rico and Brooklyn, New York. In some cases Puerto Ricans were subject to the racial discrimination, which at that time was widespread in the United States.

World War II was also the first conflict in which women, other than nurses, were allowed to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces. However, when the United States entered World War II, Puerto Rican nurses volunteered for service but were not accepted into the Army or Navy Nurse Corps. As a result, many of the island's women work forces migrated to the mainland U.S. to work in the factories which produced military equipment. In 1944, the Army Nurse Corps decided to actively recruit Puerto Rican nurses so that Army hospitals would not have to deal with the language barriers. Among them was Second Lieutenant Carmen Dumler, who became one of the first Puerto Rican female military officers.

The 149th Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) Post Headquarters Company was the first WAAC Company to go overseas, setting sail from New York Harbor for Europe on January 1943. The unit arrived in Northern Africa on January 27, 1943, and rendered overseas duties in Algiers within General Dwight D. Eisenhower's theatre headquarters. Tech 4 Carmen Contreras-Bozak, a member of this unit, was the first Hispanic to serve in the Women's Army Corps as an interpreter and in numerous administrative positions.

The 65th Infantry, after an extensive training program in 1942, was sent to Panama to protect the Pacific and the Atlantic sides of the isthmus in 1943. On November 25, 1943, Colonel Antulio Segarra preceded Col. John R. Menclenhall as Commander of the 65th Infantry, thus becoming the first Puerto Rican Regular Army officer to command a Regular Army regiment.

On January 12, 1944, the 296th Infantry Regiment departed from Puerto Rico to the Panama Canal Zone. In April 1945, the unit returned to Puerto Rico and soon after was sent to Honolulu, Hawaii. The 296th arrived on June 25, 1945 and was attached to the Central Pacific Base Command at Kahuku Air Base. Lieutenant Colonel Gilberto Jose Marxuach, "The Father of the San Juan Civil Defense" was the commander of both the 1114th Artillery Company and the 1558th Engineers Company.

That same year, the 65th Infantry regiment was sent to North Africa, arriving at Casablanca, where they underwent further training. For some Puerto Ricans, this would be the first time that they were away from their homeland. this would serve as an inspiration for compositions of two of Puerto Rico's most renowned Bolero's; "En mi viejo San Juan" by Noel Estrada and "Despedida" (My Good-bye), a farewell song written by Pedro Flores and interpreted by Daniel Santos.

By April 29, 1944, the Regiment had landed in Italy and moved on to Corsica. On September 22, 1944, the 65th Infantry landed in France and was committed to action on the Maritime Alps at Peira Cava. On December 13, 1944, the 65th Infantry, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Juan Cesar Cordero Davila, relieved the 2nd Battalion of the 442nd Infantry Regiment, a Regiment which was made up of Japanese Americans under the command of Colonel Virgil R. Miller, a native of Puerto Rico. The 3rd Battalion fought against and defeated Germany's 34th Infantry Division's 107th Infantry Regiment. There were 47 battle casualties including Pvt. Sergio Sanchez-Sanchez and Sergeant Angel Martinez, from the town of Sabana Grande, who were the first two Puerto Ricans to be killed in combat action from the 65th Infantry.

On March 18, 1945, the regiment was sent to the District of Mannheim and assigned to military occupation duties. In all, the 65th Infantry participated in the battles of Naples-Fogis, Rome-Arno, and central Europe and of the Rhineland. On October 27, 1945, the regiment sailed from France, arriving at Puerto Rico on November 9, 1945. The regiment suffered a total of 23 soldiers killed in action.This was also the first time that Puerto Ricans played important roles as commanders in the Armed Forces of the United States. Besides Lieutenant Colonel Juan Cesar Cordero Davila who served with the 65th Infantry and Colonel Virgil R. Miller, a West Point graduate born in San Juan, who was the Regimental Commander of the 442d Regimental Combat Team, a unit which was composed of "Nisei" (second generation Americans of Japanese descent), that rescued Lost Texas Battalion of the 36th Infantry Division, in the forests of the Vosges Mountains in northeastern France.

Seven Puerto Ricans who graduated from the United States Naval Academy served in command positions in the Navy and the Marine Corps. There was Lieutenant General Pedro Augusto del Valle, the first Hispanic Marine Corps general, who played a key role in the Guadalcanal Campaign and the Battle of Guam and became the Commanding General of the First Marine Division. Del Valle played an instrumental role in the defeat of the Japanese forces in Okinawa and was in charge of the reorganization of Okinawa.

Admiral Horacio Rivero, Jr., USN, was the first Puerto Rican to become a four-star Admiral. Captain Marion Frederic Ramírez de Arellano, USN, was the first Hispanic submarine commanding officer. As submarine commander of the USS Balao (SS-285), he is credited with sinking two Japanese ships.Rear Admiral Rafael Celestino Benitez, USN, a highly decorated submarine commander was the recipient of two Silver Star Medals.Rear Admiral Jose M. Cabanillas, USN, was the Executive Officer of the USS Texas which participated in the invasions of North Africa and Normandy (D-Day).Rear Admiral Edmund Ernest García, USN, commander of the destroyer USS Sloat saw action in the invasions of Africa, Sicily, and France.Rear Admiral Frederick Lois Riefkohl, USN, was the first Puerto Rican to graduate from the Naval Academy and received the Navy Cross.

Colonel Jaime Sabater, USMC, commanded the 1st Battalion, 9th Marines during the Bougainville amphibious operations. It was during this conflict that CWO2 Joseph B. Aviles, Sr., a member of the United States Coast Guard and the first Hispanic-American to be promoted to Chief Petty Officer, received a war-time promotion to Chief Warrant Officer (November 27, 1944), thus becoming the first Hispanic American to reach that level as well. Aviles, who served in the United States Navy as Chief Gunner's Mate in World War I, spent most of the war at St. Augustine, Florida training recruits.

Among the many Puerto Ricans who distinguished themselves in combat were Sergeant First Class Agustin Ramos Calero and the first three Puerto Ricans to be awarded the Distinguished Service Cross: PFC. Luis F. Castro, Private Anibal Irrizarry and PFC Joseph R. Martinez. PFC Joseph (Jose) R. Martinez, born in San German, Puerto Rico, destroyed a German Infantry unit and tank in Tunis by providing heavy artillery fire, saving his platoon from being attacked in the process. He received the Distinguished Service Cross from General George S. Patton, thus becoming the first Puerto Rican recipient of said military decoration. His citation reads as follows:
"The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Joseph R. Martinez, Private First Class, U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy in action against enemy forces in March 1943. Private First Class Martinez's intrepid actions, personal bravery and zealous devotion to duty exemplify the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army."

Sergeant First Class Agustin Ramos Calero was awarded a total of 22 decorations and medals his actions in Europe during World War II, thus becoming most decorated soldier in the United States Military during that war.

Puerto Ricans also distinguished themselves as fighter pilots and bombardiers. Among those who served in either the Royal Canadian Air Force, the British Royal Air Force or the United States Army Air Force during the war were Captain Mihiel "Mike" Gilormini, Captain Alberto A. Nido and T/Sgt. Clement Resto.

Captain Mihiel "Mike" Gilormini served in the Royal Air Force and in United States Army Air Force as a fighter pilot during World War II. He was the recipient of the Silver Star Medal, the Air Medal with four clusters and the Distinguished Flying Cross 5 times. Gilormini later became the Founder of the Puerto Rico Air National Guard and retired as Brigadier General.

Captain Alberto A. Nido served in the Royal Canadian Air Force, the Royal Air Force and in the United States Army Air Force during the war. He flew missions as a bomber pilot for the RCAF and as a Super marine Spitfire fighter pilot for the RAF. As a member of the RAF, he belonged to 67th Reconnaissance Squadron who participated in 275 combat missions. Nido later transferred to the USAAF's 67th Fighter Group as a P-51 Mustang fighter pilot. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with four oak leaf clusters and the Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters. Nido co-founded the Puerto Rico Air National Guard and, as Gilormini, retired a Brigadier General.

T/Sgt. Clement Resto served with the 303rd Bomb Group and participated in numerous bombing raids over Germany. During a bombing mission over Düren, Germany, Resto's plane, a B-17 Flying Fortress, was shot down. He was captured by the Gestapo and sent to Stalag XVII-B where he spent the rest of the war as a prisoner of war. Resto, who lost an eye during his last mission, was awarded a Purple Heart, a POW Medal, and an Air Medal with one battle star after he was liberated from captivity.

Lieutenant Maria Rodriguez Denton (U.S. Navy), born in Guanica, Puerto Rico, was the first known woman of Puerto Rican descent who became an officer in the United States Navy as a member of the WAVES. It was Lt. Denton who forwarded the news (through channels) to President Harry S. Truman that the war had ended.

Puerto Rican soldiers were also subject to human experimentation by the United States Armed Forces. On Panama's San Jose Island, Puerto Rican soldiers were exposed to mustard gas to see if they reacted differently than their "white" counterparts. According to Susan L. Smith of the University of Alberta, the researchers were searching for evidence of race-based differences in the responses of the human body to mustard gas exposure.

According to the 4th Report of the Director of Selective Service of 1948, a total of 51,438 Puerto Ricans served in the Armed Forces during World War II, however the Department of Defense in its report titled "Number of Puerto Ricans serving in the U.S. Armed Forces during National Emergencies" stated that the total of Puerto Ricans who served was 65,034 and from that total 2,560 were listed as wounded. Unfortunately, the exact total amount of Puerto Ricans who served in World War II in other units, besides those of Puerto Rico, cannot be determined because the military categorized Hispanics under the same heading as whites. The only racial groups to have separate stats kept were African-Americans and Asian Americans.

A total of 61,000 Puerto Ricans served in the military during the Korean War, most of them volunteers. A total of 121 Puerto Rican soldiers were among the 8,200 people listed as Missing in Action during the Korean War . This total does not include people of Puerto Rican descent who were born in the mainland of the United States.

Puerto Rico was officially ceded to the United States from Spain under the terms of the 1898 Treaty of Paris which concluded the Spanish-American War. It is a United States territory and upon the outbreak of World War I, the U.S. Congress approved the Jones-Shafroth Act, which granted Puerto Ricans citizenship. As a result Puerto Ricans have participated in every major conflict involving the United States from World War I onward.

Thousands of Puerto Ricans participated in these conflicts. Many lived and returned to their homeland, others were less fortunate and either died as a result of a hostile enemy action or have been listed as MIA (Missing In Action). Missing In Action (abbreviated MIA), is a term dating from 1946 referring to a member of the armed services who is reported missing following a combat mission and whose status as to injury, capture, or death is unknown. The missing combatant must not have been otherwise accounted for as either killed in action or a prisoner of war. The Korean War was one of two major conflicts (the other one was the Vietnam War) which accounted for the most Puerto Ricans missing in action.

According to "All POW-MIA Korean War Casualties," the total number of Puerto Rican casualties in the Korean War was 732; however, this total may vary slightly since some non-Puerto Ricans, such as Captain James W. Conner, were mistakenly included. Out of the 700 plus casualties suffered in the war, a total of 121 Puerto Rican men were listed as Missing in Action.

It was during the Korean War that Puerto Ricans suffered the most casualties as members of an all-Hispanic volunteer unit, the 65th Infantry Regiment. One of the problems the unit faced was the difference in languages: the common foot soldier spoke only Spanish, while the commanding officers were mostly English-speaking Americans.

In September 1952, the 65th Infantry was holding on to a hill known as "Outpost Kelly" until the Chinese People's Volunteer Army (Chinese officials maintained from the first that the Chinese fighting in Korea were volunteers) which had joined the North Koreans, overran the position. This became known as the "Battle for Outpost Kelly." Twice, the 65th Regiment was overwhelmed by Chinese artillery and driven off. The Battle of Outpost Kelly accounted for 73 of the men missing in action from the total of 121. Out of the 73 MIAs suffered by the regiment in the month of September, 50 of them occurred on the same day, September 18.

During the Korean War, two Puerto Ricans who were members of the United States Marine Corps, were awarded the Navy Cross, the second highest medal, after the Medal of Honor, that can be awarded by the Department of the Navy. One of the recipients was PFC. Ramón Núñez-Juarez who was listed as MIA and was posthumously awarded the medal. PFC Ramón Núñez-Juarez's remains have never been recovered and a symbolic burial with full military honors was held on October 25, 1970. There is a headstone with his name inscribed above an empty grave in the Puerto Rico National Cemetery, located in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. His name is inscribed in "El Monumento de la Recordacion," a monument dedicated to the Puerto Ricans who have fallen in combat, located in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

On April 23, 1975, President Gerald Ford gave a televised speech declaring an end to the Vietnam War. Some sources state that a total of 345 Puerto Ricans who resided in the island died in combat, however, according to a report by the Department of Defense, titled "Number of Puerto Ricans serving in the U.S. Armed Forces during National Emergencies" the total number of Puerto Ricans who died was 455 and that were wounded was 3,775.

Because of lack of separate documentation, the total number of Puerto Ricans who lived in the mainland United States and perished is unknown. At the time, Puerto Ricans were not tabulated separately, but were generally included in the general white population census count. Separate statistics were kept for African Americans and Asian Americans. The names of those who perished are inscribed in both the Vietnam Veterans Memorial located in Washington, D.C. and in "El Monumento de la Recordacion" (The Wall of Remembrance) located in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

According to a study made by the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health and the Department of Psychiatry, Yale University, Puerto Rican Vietnam veterans, have a higher risk for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and experience more severe PTSD symptoms than non-Hispanic white Vietnam veterans. However, despite the hardships suffered by the experiences of war, many went on to live normal everyday lives. Among the Puerto Ricans who served in Vietnam and held important presidential administrative positions in the Administration of President George W. Bush were Major General William A. Navas Jr., who was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and was named Assistant Secretary of the Navy in June 6, 2001 and Dr. Richard Carmona, a former Green Beret who was awarded two Purple Hearts and was appointed Surgeon General in March 2002.

Puerto Ricans have served as members of the United States Armed Forces and have fought in every major conflict in which the United States has been involved from World War I onward. Many Puerto Ricans, including those of Puerto Rican descent, have distinguished themselves during combat as members of the five branches of the U.S. Military, the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and the Coast Guard.

Five Puerto Ricans have been awarded the United States' highest military decoration the Medal of Honor, six have been awarded the Navy Cross and seventeen have been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. Two of the Medal of Honor winners are from hometown. Utuado is very proud of these two winners who paid the final sacrifice for our country.

The Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) is the second highest military decoration of the United States Army, awarded for extreme gallantry and risk of life in actual combat with an armed enemy force. Actions which merit the Distinguished Service Cross must be of such a high degree to be above those required for all other U.S. combat decorations but not meeting the criteria for the Medal of Honor.

Why Puerto Ricans Do Not Vote in Federal Elections? Puerto Ricans who reside in Puerto Rico cannot vote in federal elections as ruled by the 1922 Supreme Court decision. In order to vote in federal elections, the individual must be a permanent resident of the USA. However, Puerto Ricans who reside in the United States of America can vote in insular elections as long as they have temporary address in Puerto Rico.

The following is a summary of the rulings associated with the rights and citizenship status of all Puerto Rican residing on the island: United States Recognition of Puerto Rican Citizenship.Puerto Rican citizenship replaced the Spanish citizenship that Puerto Ricans enjoyed at the time of the American invasion in 1898. Such Puerto Rican citizenship was granted by Spain in 1897.The Congress of the United States enacted the Foraker Act of 1900, which replaced the governing military regime in Puerto Rico with a civil form of government. Section VII of this act created a Puerto Rican citizenship for the residents "born in Puerto Rico and, therefore, subject to its jurisdiction." This citizenship was reaffirmed by the United States Supreme Court in 1904 by its ruling in Gonzales v. Williams which denied that Puerto Ricans were United States citizens and labeled them as noncitizen nationals.

On March 2, 1917, the Jones-Shafroth Act was signed, granting collective United States citizenship to Puerto Ricans without rescinding their Puerto Rican citizenship. In 1922 the U.S. Supreme court in the case of Balzac v. Porto Rico ruled that the full protection and rights of the U.S constitution does not apply to residents of Puerto Rico until they come to reside in the United States proper.

Luis Muñoz Rivera, who participated in the creation of the Jones-Shafroth Act, gave a speech in the U.S. House floor that argued in favor of Puerto Rican citizenship. He declared that if the earth were to swallow the island, Puerto Ricans would prefer American citizenship to any citizenship in the world. But as long as the island existed, the residents preferred Puerto Rican citizenship.

Also the Puerto Rico Supreme Court, in 1943, cited U.S. Supreme Court case Snowden v. Hughes, 321 U.S. 1, 7 (1943) that affirm: The protection extended to citizens of the United States by the privileges and immunities clause includes those rights and privileges which, under the laws and Constitution of the United States, are incident to citizenship of the United States but does not include rights pertaining to state citizenship and derived solely from the relationship of the citizen and his state established by state law. The right to become a candidate for state office, like the right to vote for the election of state officers, is a right or privilege of state citizenship, not of national citizenship, which alone is protected by the privileges and immunities clause.

The U.S Ambassador Cabot Lodge in a memorandum sent to the United Nations in 1953 recognized that "the people of Puerto Rico continue to be citizens of the United States as well as of Puerto Rico." Puerto Rican Citizenship Reaffirmed. In 1994 Puerto Rican activist Juan Mari Brás flew to Venezuela and renounced his US citizenship before a consular agent in the US Embassy. Mari Bras through his renunciation of U.S. citizenship, sought to redefine Section VII as a source of law that recognized a Puerto Rican nationality separate from that of the United States.1995: His denaturalization was confirmed by the US State Department. Among the arguments that ensued over his action was whether he would now be able to vote in elections in Puerto Rico.

In 1997 the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico through its ruling in Miriam J. Ramirez de Ferrer v. Juan Mari Brás reaffirmed the Puerto Rican citizenship by ruling that U.S. citizenship was not a requirement to vote in Puerto Rico. According to the court's majority opinion, the Puerto Rican citizenship is recognized several times in the Puerto Rican constitution including section 5 of article III, section 3 of article IV, and section 9 of article V. In a 2006 memorandum, the Secretary of Justice of Puerto Rico concluded, based on the Mari Bras case, that the Puerto Rican citizenship is "separate and different" from the United States citizenship.

The Puerto Rico Supreme Court decision affirmed that persons born in Puerto Rico and persons subject to their jurisdiction are Citizens of Puerto Rico under the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico Constitution. The Court cited as part of the applicable jurisdiction to decide this case, United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. 542 (1875) pp 549, the U.S. Supreme Court affirm: There is in our political system a government of each of the several States, and a Government of the United States. Each is distinct from the others, and has citizens of its own who owe it allegiance, and whose rights, within its jurisdiction, it must protect. The same person may be at the same time a citizen of the United States and a citizen of a State, but his rights of citizenship under one of those governments will be different from those he has under the other.

Puerto Ricans Get Less Military Benefits than Other U.S. Citizens. Military widows and veterans in Puerto Rico receive fewer health benefits than their counterparts in the United States, even though Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens and serve shoulder-to-shoulder with their countrymen in Iraq and Afghanistan. That means that, like all island spouses whose soldier husbands or wives were killed in the latest U.S. wars, the widow of Army soldier would get less than fully paid health insurance -- simply for living in Puerto Rico.

The reason is that the Pentagon considers Puerto Rico an "overseas" location. Yet, military retirees and survivors in Hawaii and Alaska, also considered "overseas" by the Pentagon for purposes of the health plan, receive benefits on par with their fellow citizens who live in the contiguous 48 states. While active duty military and their families in Puerto Rico are eligible for TRICARE Prime, the Pentagon's fully paid HMO option, the under-65 retirees on the island are limited to a program called TRICARE Standard.

TRICARE Standard is equivalent to a health insurance program that the Defense Department itself deemed inadequate several years ago. Survivors of soldiers killed in war, if they live in Puerto Rico, qualify for the Prime program for two years, then must switch to Standard. If the husband, who is from Puerto Rico, goes to Iraq and is killed in action, and his wife, also Puerto Rican, wants to return home to the comfort of her family and friends, she receives less than full health care benefits. The above is an abstract of the original and complete report of Dr. Frank J. Collazo (30 page) article title “Puerto Ricans Contributions to All Wars -WWI Thru Vietnam” see link

By Dr. Frank J. Collazo and Edited by Ramon Luis Vazquez of


Foraker Act
German–Spanish Treaty (1899)
Hispanic Medal of Honor recipients
Jones–Shafroth Act
Joseph B. Foraker, Senator from Ohio
List of Puerto Ricans Missing in Action in the Korean War-From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia-
Military history of Puerto Rico-
Puerto Ricans get less military benefits than other U.S. citizens-
Puerto Rican women in the military
Puerto Ricans in World War II
Puerto Rico National Guard-
Puerto Rico’s 65th Infantry Regiment-
Puerto Ricans in the Vietnam War
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Source:
The Puerto Rican Prisoners of War-
Puerto Ricans in the Vietnam War
Spanish–American War (1/4
Spanish East Indies (1/2
The Changing of the Guard: Puerto Rico in 1898-
Treaty of Paris (1898)
United States recognition of Puerto Rican citizenship
Wiki: Puerto Rican citizenship
Yap Islands