LIFESTYLE

Veterans Day: Latino trailblazers in the U.S. military

Since the American Revolution, Hispanics have been serving in the U.S. Armed Forces with distinction and bravery.

Take, for instance, the story of Sgt. José Lopez, who, on Dec. 17, 1944, single-handedly held off two Nazi units and killed over 35 Germans protecting his outnumbered company by manning a heavy machine gun.

Or the last "Ace in a Day" of World War II, the Mexican-American 1st Lieutenant Oscar Perdomo, who earned the title when he recorded five kills on Aug. 13, 1945.

Or the 65th Infantry Regiment - a.k.a., the "Borinqueneers" which was based in Puerto Rico. The unit fought in nine major campaigns from 1950 to 1953, earning 124 Silver Stars and four Distinguished Service Crosses. The unit was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor earlier this year.

Some of their stories are surprising in more ways than one, like Cuban-born Loreta Janeta Velázquez, who followed her husband into the Confederate Army during the Civil War but wound up becoming a spy for the Union side.

And there are many trailblazers – like Lt. Al Cisneros became the first Latino pilot to serve the Navy's famed Blue Angels flight demonstration squad in 1975 and Gen. Richard E. Cavazos, a decorated platoon and company commander in the Korean War who was the The U.S. Army's first Hispanic four-star general.

To date, 61 Hispanics have been awarded the Medal of Honor, 42 of them received the award posthumously, from the Civil War to the war in Afghanistan.

In honor of Veterans' Day on Nov. 11, 2014, Fox News Latino salutes those heroes and all the Hispanic men and women who have served their country's military over the centuries.

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