Veterans honor Sen. Riquelme as ‘an ally’
By The Star Staff
The Puerto Rican veterans of the American Legion, along with veterans from Camuy-based Post 25, paid tribute to Sen. Keren Riquelme Cabrera over the weekend by awarding the designation of “Honorary Veteran” for her work on their behalf during the current legislative term.
The ceremony led by Cmdr. William “Willy” Lafontaine included veterans of the Korean, Vietnam and Persian Gulf wars, among others. Many wore their decorations for bravery on the battlefield, including the Purple Heart and the Congressional Medal of Honor as Borinqueneers.
The veterans expressed their gratitude to Riquelme, a senator from the New Progressive Party.
“The senator is an ally to our causes,” Lafontaine said. “She has the vision and commitment to make Puerto Rico the ideal retirement place for veterans and foster a culture of gratitude, respect and honor among the younger generation and veterans.”
According to data from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, currently some 115,000 combat veterans live in Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rican veterans have distinguished themselves in every theater of combat since they formally entered the U.S. armed forces in 1917, including the trenches of the Western Front in Europe between 1917 and 1918 during World War I, as well as in Europe and the Pacific during World War II, and in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.