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How these Latino Military Heroes Put Trump to Shame

¡¿Que se cree Donald Trump?! In extensive interviews with Michael D’Antonio, his biographer and Pulitzer Prize-winning former reporter at Newsday, Trump likened his education at the ritzy New York Military Academy, military service. And although he has never served, Trump claims he has “more training militarily than a lot of the guys that go into the military.” ? But has he ever done anything close to what these brave Latinos have done to protect our country and freedoms? Let’s take a moment to honor these heroes.

Fernando Luis García – Korean War

Photo Credit: U.S. Marines

Birthplace: Utuado, Puerto Rico

Garcia threw himself on a grenade to save his fellow Marine after their unit was ambushed. He was the first Puerto Rican to receive a Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor Awarded: Sept. 5, 1952

Mike Pena – Korean War

Photo Credit: U.S. Army

Birthplace: Corpus Christi, Texas

Realizing that his unit’s ammunition was low, Pena told his men to retreat. He spent the entire night single-handedly keeping the enemy at bay before he was killed.

Medal of Honor Awarded: March 18, 2014

Carlos Lozada – Vietnam War

Photo Credit: U.S. Marines

Birthplace: Caguas, Puerto Rico

Realizing he was the last line of defense, Lozada provided cover for soldiers after their unit was attacked. He killed at least 20 North Vietnamese soldiers before being fatally wounded.

Medal of Honor Awarded: Nov. 20, 1967

Eurípides Rubio – Vietnam War

Photo Credit: U.S. Army

Birthplace: Ponce, Puerto Rico

Rubio handed out ammunition, took over for a fallen machine gun operator and used a smoke grenade to show air support the location of the enemy during an ambush. Rubio died in action.

Medal of Honor Awarded: Nov. 8, 1966

Humbert Roque Versace – Vietnam War

Photo Credit: U.S. Army

Birthplace: Honolulu, Hawaii

Versace refused to talk after being captured by the Viet Cong, who then executed him. Prisoners said the last thing they heard from Versace was him singing “God Bless America.”

Medal of Honor Awarded: July 8, 2002

José Jiménez – Vietnam War

Photo Credit: U.S. Marines

Birthplace: Mexico City

Jiménez took on the enemy alone, destroying enemy weapons and troops before being fatally wounded.

Medal of Honor Awarded: Aug. 28, 1969

Héctor Santiago-Colón – Vietnam War

Photo Credit: U.S. Army

Birthplace: Salina, Puerto Rico

Santiago-Colón spotted a grenade that had been thrown at his unit during a late-night battle. He grabbed the grenade, put it into his shirt and turned away from his unit, taking the full impact of the blast.

Medal of Honor Awarded: June 28, 1968

Ambrosio Guillen – Korean War

Photo Credit: U.S. Marines

Birthplace: La Junta, Colorado

Guillen’s unit was pinned down by two enemy platoons, so he deliberately exposed himself to enemy fire to help injured soldiers. After leading his unit to victory, Guillen died of his injuries.

Medal of Honor Awarded: August 18, 1954

Marcario García – World War II

Birthplace: Villa de Castano, Mexico

García single-handedly killed six enemy troops and captured four German prisoners. García was injured by bullets and grenade shrapnel during his charge.

Medal of Honor Awarded: Nov. 27, 1944

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President Joe Biden Ends Trump-Era Trans Military Ban

Things That Matter

President Joe Biden Ends Trump-Era Trans Military Ban

Former President Donald Trump and his administration have a long track record of attacking LGBTQ+ votes. One of the first attacks was to ban transgender people from serving in the military. Years later, President Joe Biden has reversed the hateful order.

President Joe Biden has ended the trans military ban.

Former President Trump left behind a trail of destruction and pain with his administration. One of the first LGBTQ+ attacks was banning trans people from joining and serving in the military. The policy, which was created via a tweet, caused unnecessary pain to trans military members both current and retired. Many lost benefits and others were discharged for being who they are.

The order is a welcomed change to the military.

“This is reinstating a position that previous commanders and — as well as the Secretaries have supported,” President Biden said about the order. “And what I’m doing is enabling all qualified Americans to serve their country in uniform, and essentially restoring the situation as it existed before, with transgender personnel, if qualified in every other way, can serve their government in the United States military.”

LGBTQ+ people and allies are celebrating the end of the discriminatory policy.

The policy banning trans members from the military served no purpose other than singling out people for who they are. For years, the military has accepted LGBTQ+ people and former President Trump’s anti-trans policy was damaging and unnecessarily harmful to servicemembers.

President Biden’s plan will tackle the legacy of disenfranchisement in three steps:

  • Directs the secretary of defense and secretary of homeland security to implement this order.
  • Immediately prohibits involuntary separations, discharges, and denials of reenlistment or continuation of service on the basis of gender identity or under circumstances relating to gender identity.
  • Requires an initial report from the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Homeland Security be made to the President within 60 days on their progress in implementing the directives and policy included in today’s Executive Order.

READ: Amelio Robles Ávila Was Mexico’s First Trans Soldier And A Revolutionary Hero, More Than 100 Years Ago

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Memorial For Vanessa Guillen Was Vandalized And People Came Together To Clean It Up

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Memorial For Vanessa Guillen Was Vandalized And People Came Together To Clean It Up

Vanessa Guillen’s disappearance earlier this year ignited a firestorm of concern and anger across the country. The anger has resurfaced after a person vandalized and destroyed a memorial in honor of the murdered soldier. Here’s what we know so far about the vandalism that was caught on surveillance camera.

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) released surveillance footage of a person vandalizing the site.

Vandal Destroys Vanessa Guillen Memorial Mural in Killeen, Fort Hood

VANESSA GUILLEN MEMORIAL VANDALIZED HOURS AFTER HER BIRTHDAYNation’s Oldest and Largest Latino Civil Rights Organization Says Suspect Caught on Video at Site of Tribute Mural for Slain SoldierWashington, DC – The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) today asked for the public’s help in providing information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person caught on camera overnight defacing a public memorial site erected by the community to remember and honor Specialist Vanessa Guillen."I would ask that we focus on reminding the community that the mural is there to bring the community together and bring awareness to sexual assault, sexual harassment and its prevention,” said Analuisa Tapia, LULAC District Director. ’Our community has already been damaged by the loss of one too many soldiers. We ask that we collectively take care of the mural as we honor our service members who live in that silent combat,” she added.Rodolfo Rosales, Jr., Texas LULAC State Director and Linda Chavez, LULAC National Board Member and Vice-President for the Southwest are monitoring the situation. “We abhor any type of vandalism and destruction of property,” says Rosales. “The only thing we believe in is peaceful and nonviolent action,” he added.

Posted by LULAC on Friday, October 2, 2020

The vandalism occurred on Oct. 1 in the very early morning hours. The act is captured in its entirety on camera with the perpetrator attacked the memorial in Killeen, Texas multiple times.

“I would ask that we focus on reminding the community that the mural is there to bring the community together and bring awareness to sexual assault, sexual harassment and its prevention,” Analuisa Tapia, LULAC District Director, said in a statement. “Our community has already been damaged by the loss of one too many soldiers. We ask that we collectively take care of the mural as we honor our service members who live in that silent combat.”

People are outraged that someone would vandalize the memorial.

The attack on the memorial happened just hours after what would have been her 21 birthday. The video shows a person running through the memorial from the sidewalk and kicking over candles. They then double back and run back through the memorial kicking more candles. According to KCEN, the site was cleaned up and fixed just hours after the vandalism occurred.

“We abhor any type of vandalism and destruction of property,” Rodolfo Rosales, Jr., Texas LULAC State Director said in a statement. “The only thing we believe in is peaceful and nonviolent action.”

Guillen went missing on April 22 and growing public pressure led to a formal investigation.

On June 30, Guillen’s body was found not far from the military base where she was last seen. Another body of a missing soldier was found while authorities were searching for Guillen.

Shortly after the body was found, 20-year-old Army Specialist Aaron Robinson and Cecily Aguilar were the prime suspects. According to reports, Robinson admitted to killing Guille by striking her in the back of the head with a hammer.

State politicians are calling on authorities to find those responsible.

Guillen’s search was national news as people were desperate to learn what happened to the young Latina. Civilians were calling on the military to launch a formal investigation into Fort Hood to find out what happened to Guillen.

Police confronted Robinson about the death of Guillen and Robinson shot and killed himself. Aguilar was arrested by police in connection to Guillen’s death and disappearance. Aguilar is charged with one count of conspiracy to tamper with evidence after admitting Robinson asked her to help dispose of the body. She has entered a “not guilty” plea and her court date is scheduled for Sept. 28.

Rest easy, Vanessa Guillen.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Guillen family as they continue to grapple with this tragedy. After months of hoping to find their loved one, Guillen’s remains were discovered near the military base. The Guillen family has used the death to push for change and drafted legislation they hope will become law to help military personnel.

Guillen confided in family and friends that she was the victim of sexual harassment by Robinson. Her disappearance happened soon after she decided to come forward and report the harassment. The I Am Vanessa Guillen bill seeks to create an independent way for victims of sexual harassment in the military to report. The bill would also make sexual harassment a punishable offense under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

READ: Vanessa Guillen’s Family To Meet With Trump And Introduce Bill To Protect Military Personnel Reporting Sexual Harassment

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