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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – The U.S. government is honoring dozens of Puerto Rican veterans who faced discrimination and waited decades to be recognized for fighting several wars under the last segregated unit in combat.
U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald traveled to the American territory to hand out the Congressional Gold Medal to veterans on Wednesday. He said the service of the 65th Infantry Regiment known as the Borinqueneers is legendary.
The Borinqueneers were a Hispanic unit segregated from other soldiers as were the black Tuskegee Airmen and Navajo Code Talkers. But it was not until this year that they received the highest civilian award given by Congress.
Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi said Latinos have been able to integrate themselves in the U.S. military thanks in part to the Borinqueneers.