The Congressional Gold Medal. (Spc. David M. Sharp / Army)
Members of the 65th Infantry Regiment of Puerto Rico are being honored with the Congressional Gold Medal for their heroism and contributions, the Defense Department announced Wednesday.
President Obama signed a bill Wednesday awarding medal to the “Borinqueneers” of the 65th.
“Shortly after Puerto Rico became part of the United States in 1898, a regiment of Puerto Rican soldiers was formed, and they served our nation bravely ever since,” Obama said at the White House signing ceremony, according to a DoD release.
The unit served in both World Wars and in Korea, during a time of segregation, which “set them apart from their fellow soldiers — but their courage made them legendary,” Obama said, according to the release. “They earned thousands of medals for their service in Korea.”
The medal is one of the highest awards the United States can give, and only “a handful” of military units have received it, Obama said.