National Hispanic American Heritage Month honors and remembers all the significant accomplishments of our Hispanic American Veterans. Hispanic Americans have defended this country, showing bravery throughout the years.
Hispanic American Veterans such as Army Veteran Alfred V. Rascon, a Medal of Honor recipient, show courage and perseverance.
Rascon received a Medal of Honor for his actions as a medic during the Vietnam War. During combat with several Soldiers wounded, Rascon made his way forward to aid his fallen comrades. He exposed himself to enemy fire and grenades multiple times, covering the bodies of those whom he was aiding. He absorbed grenade blast and fragments with his own body. Each time he would successfully drag his comrades to safety, he would crawl back to aid someone else without hesitation. Rascon showed acts of selflessness and demonstrated true bravery.
Many Hispanic women have also put their lives on the line to serve this country and protect what it stands for. When the military first began accepting women into its ranks in the early 20th century, only a small number of Hispanic women joined because traditional values discourage them from traveling and working away from home. This changed during World War II when the nation needed contributions from all citizens.
Carmen Lozano Dumler, one of the first Puerto Rican women to become a U.S. Army officer, shows the dedication of Hispanic American women to serve our country.
In 1944, because of the events of War World II, the U.S. Army sent some members of the Women’s Army Corps to Puerto Rico to recruit more people. That’s where Dumler heard about this opportunity to help out. Upon graduating from Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing in the spring of 1944, Dumler volunteered as an Army nurse. As one of 13 selected applicants, she became a second lieutenant. She described it as the happiest day of her life.
Dumler served in different hospitals, providing her knowledge as a translator and her support to the patients who appreciated having someone to talk to who shared the same language. She trained as a nurse at the Rodriguez General Hospital in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Dumler later served in the British West Indies, where she attended to wounded Soldiers returning from France.
These are only two people among many Hispanic Americas who have and continue to defend for our nation. Our country is built from brave men and women, from all different backgrounds and cultures. This month, we recognize the countless contributions of Hispanic Americans that help make our nation a thriving and secure land of opportunity.
Editor: Joseph Cardinal
Fact checker: V
Graphic artist: Rey Leal