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2014-9

A Resolution Using the Citizen's Stamp Advisory Committee to Issue a Postage Stamp Honoring the Borinqueneers, the Only Hispanic-Segregated Unit in the United States Military History

Assemblyman Angel Fuentes (NJ) HEALTH CARE TASK FORCE

WHEREAS, The 65th Infantry Regiment, created in 1899 as the only Hispanic-segregated unit in United States military history, was mandated by Congress to be comprised primarily of Puerto Ricans; and

WHEREAS, The 65th Infantry Regiment became better known as the Borinqueneers from the word Borinquen, the name by which the native Taino Indians called Puerto Rico; and

WHEREAS, The Borinqueneers, throughout their service in World War I, World War II, and most notably the Korean War, served with distinction, participated in nine major campaigns, and earned the respect and admiration of their fellow soldiers and military authorities, most notably General Douglas MacArthur; and

WHEREAS, The 65th Infantry Borinqueneers earned two United States Presidential Unit Citations, a Meritorious Unit Commendation, and two Republic of Korea Unit Citations, and individual members earned ten Distinguished Service Crosses, 421 Silver Stars, and 156 Bronze Stars; and

WHEREAS, The Borinqueneers made valuable contributions to the United States’ war efforts, and suffered a tremendous number of casualties, with more than 3,000 wounded including 600 killed; and

WHEREAS, Although more than 20,000 Puerto Ricans have served courageously as Borinqueneers since World War I, their contribution and sacrifices have gone largely unnoticed; and

WHEREAS, Honoring the Borinqueneers with a commemorative United States stamp would be a fitting tribute for these brave soldiers and would serve to educate the American public about their existence and service; now, therefore,

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators recognizes the service of the 65th Infantry Borinqueneers, especially during World War I, World War II, and the Korean War, and respectfully urges the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee to issue a postage stamp honoring the Borinqueneers.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that copies of this resolution, approved by the NHCSL, shall be transmitted to the President and Vice President of the United States, each member of the United States Congress elected, the postmaster general of the United States, and the chair of the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee.

THIS RESOLUTION WAS RATIFIED ON DECEMBER 9, 2014 AT THE NHCSL ANNUAL MEETING HELD IN SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO.