Spokane, WA – Today the national organization, Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) approved a resolution supporting the equal treatment for veterans in Puerto Rico. They moved to approve this resolution at the 19th biannual convention in Spokane, Washington from July 15th-20th, 2019, with the participation of delegates from the 50 states and Puerto Rico.
During the convention, Mr. Jorge Pedroza, President of the Puerto Rican chapter of VVA, became the first Puerto Rican on being awarded the VVA Commendation Medal. Mr. Pedroza explained that the approval of this resolution is an important step in the larger effort to achieve equal rights for veterans in Puerto Rico. He later stated “It’s an honor for me to lead the Puerto Rico delegation during this historic convention and we are very satisfied with the results of this resolution. The VVA’s recognition of the fact that our veterans deserve equal treatment as their counterparts in the states is incredibly important. Puerto Ricans have served in every military conflict since World War I and those same veterans have not been able to vote for their Commander in Chief.”
Commissioner Luis Berrios Amadeo, Ret. Colonel of the US Army and member of the Statehood Commission, enacted law in Puerto Rico, expressed his satisfaction with the approval of the resolution from Spokane. “We are grateful for the support of VVA in the fight for equality and equal treatment for our veterans and for the 3.2 million American citizens who live on the island of Puerto Rico. Around 48,000 Puerto Rican soldiers served our country honorably in the Vietnam War, from those 573 died in combat. These veterans and the future generations of Puerto Rican members of the military deserve equal treatment,” Commissioner Berrios added.
“VVA will support any legislation that comes to the floor of the US Congress that will put the 3.2 million Americans in Puerto Rico on the path towards equality,” concluded the text of the resolution.
VVA was created in 1979 and it was recognized by the US Congress as the only organization that was uniquely dedicated to supporting Vietnam War veterans and their families in the 50 States and territories.