In Memorial Day observances, resident commissioner seeks missing data on fallen servicemen
By John McPhaul
For the second consecutive year, Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón joined the Wall of Faces effort, an online platform that commemorates the more than 58,000 men and women who died during the Vietnam War and whose names are inscribed on the national monument to the conflict on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
After the resident commissioner promoted the program, and thanks to the help of relatives and close friends, several profiles of Puerto Rican soldiers whose photographs or details of their years of service were missing or incomplete were completed.
The Wall of Faces initiative has compiled information on most soldiers across the nation, but to date 12 profiles remain unfilled, of which eight are from Puerto Rican soldiers.
Of the eight, six are registered with residence in Puerto Rico at the time of their service, and two identified themselves as residents of New York and Michigan, but with some connection to the island.
“This is an initiative that I support with great pride, because it is very important that the story of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our nation lives on and is told,” said González Colón, who participated in official Memorial Day observances on Monday morning. “It is a way to honor both them and their families. No soldier should be forgotten. That is why I invite the media and followers to expand this information so that it reaches the relatives and close friends of the soldiers whose photos are missing to complete the profile.”
Below is a list of veterans’ address of record, branch of service, date of birth, date of death, and other relevant information for which more information is needed.
[U.S. Army] Bermúdez Pacheco, Enrique (Sept. 9, 1947-Aug. 9, 1967), Bayamón. Private First-Class Company A, 2nd Bn, 2nd Infantry, 1ID. Education: Inter American University of Puerto Rico in Bayamón. It is reported that he took 12 credits in 1966.
[U.S. Army] Castro Morales, Ramón (Sept. 10, 1947-Dec. 17, 1968), Santurce. Sergeant HHC, 23rd S&T Bn, Americal Division. Education: According to his data sheet, he attended Miguel Such Vocational School.
[U.S. Army] Díaz Domenech, Juan A. (Oct. 30, 1948-Sept. 23, 1969), Santurce. Corporal Company B, 2nd Bn, 35th Infantry, 4ID. Education: Puerto Rico Institute of Technology.
[U.S. Army] Maldonado Aguilar, Benjamin (Oct. 27, 1947-Feb. 5, 1969), Mayagüez. Specialist Four Company C, 1st Bn, 12th Cavalry, 1CD. Education: Eugenio María de Hostos High School.
[U.S. Army] Ortiz Rivera, Juan (June 24, 1942-Dec. 28, 1967), Bayamón. Private First-Class Company D, 52nd Signal Bn, 2nd Signal Group, 1st Signal Brigade. Education: Dr. Agustín Stahl High School.
[U.S. Army] Rodríguez Rivera, Jaime (Aug. 27, 1948-April 27, 1970), Caparra Terrace. Private First Class 213th Engineer Detachment, 159th Engineer Group, 20th Engineer Brigade. Education: Gabriela Mistral High School.
[U.S. Army] Oyola, Héctor David (April 13, 1949-Aug. 14, 1970), New York (born in Juncos, where his parents were from). Private First-Class Company B, 3rd Bn, 1st Infantry, 11th Infantry Brigade, Americal Division. Education: His records show that he attended a high school in Juncos; however, the name of the institution is not specified.
[U.S. Marine Corps] Zayas, Saúl (March 24, 1949-Feb. 3, 1968), Michigan. Private First-Class Company M, 3rd Bn, 5th Marines, 3rd Marine Division/Detroit (FOIA submitted March 31, 2022).
For the most up-to-date list, visit https://www.vvmf.org/Wall-of-Faces/. For further assistance, contact Mr. Tim Tetz at the VVMF at 202-393-0090 (ext. 116) or via email at TTetz@vvmf.org.