Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Perspective: Shedding their blood, but unable to vote

Left: A soldier with the Puerto Rico National Guard pulls security while during a mission in Afghanistan in March.

One afternoon in July 2003, Ada Hilda Torres caught the end of a TV report about a U.S. soldier who had died that day in Iraq. His name had not been released, but the Army had confirmed he was from Puerto Rico.

Torres' motherly instincts immediately told her it was her eldest son, 29-year-old Army reservist Ramon Reyes Torres. She cried for hours before two men in uniform came to make it official.

"He died proud in his uniform," Torres said. "He loved the Army, and he loved his unit. But this is a war that should've never happened. Our young people are dying, and for what?"

So far, at least 66 Puerto Rican soldiers have died in Iraq and seven others in Afghanistan... An additional 1,700 have returned injured...

The way some here see it, their soldiers are dying for a country that will take their blood, but not their votes.

Read the rest at the Orlando Sentinel