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Three Local Borinqueneers to be Recognized for Their Historic Military Service

Three Brevard County residents who were members of the Army’s historic 65th Infantry Regiment known as “the Borinqueneers” will be recognized for their military service in a ceremony on Thursday, July 28, 2016 at 10:00AM in the Brevard County Commission Chambers located in Viera. Congressman Bill Posey will present Juan Romero-Silva of Palm Bay, William Vila-Velez of Palm Bay, and Chaplain James B. Allan of Indialantic with replicas of the Congressional Gold Medal.

“It’s a great privilege to recognize Juan Romero-Silva, William Vila-Velez, and Chaplain James B. Allan for their service to our nation,” said Congressman Posey. “We owe a debt of gratitude to all our men and women in uniform and their families for their service and great personal sacrifices they make in defense of our liberty.”

The 65th Infantry Regiment was created by Congress in 1898 as an all-Puerto Rican segregated unit and was called upon to serve our nation in World War I, World War II, and the Korean War, where they fought some of the fiercest battles to date and became known as the Borinqueneers. On June 10, 2014 bipartisan legislation introduced by Congressman Posey was signed into law to authorize a Congressional Gold Medal to recognize the service of these historic American fighters. The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian award that Congress can bestow.

Last April, the official Borinqueneers Gold Medal was unveiled to the public in a ceremony in Emancipation Hall in the U.S. Capitol. Brevard residents Juan Romero-Silva, William Vila-Velez, and Chaplain James B. Allan were among several Borinqueneers from around the nation who were unable to attend. Replica gold medal awards are provided by the Borinqueneers Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony National Committee.

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