By May 15, 2013
Fort Buchanan, PR (May 15, 2013)- Hundreds of service members assigned to military units in Puerto Rico celebrated the Armed Forces Day, by participating in a 2.5 Mile Run around the military installation, 15 May.
The Armed Forces Day is observed around the United States as a way to pay tribute to past and present members of the Armed Forces and to demonstrate the unity and common purpose of the Armed Forces in fulfillment of our national security requirements.
The official Armed Forces day is 18 May 2013.
"Today we celebrate those who give the best of themselves, without waiting for recognition in return. I want to encourage everyone in the command to reflect about the relevance of our Armed Forces, especially here in Puerto Rico, in Fort Buchanan and in every city across the island," said Brig. Gen. Fernando Fernandez, senior Army officer in the Caribbean, at the federal level, and commander of the 1st Mission Support Command, US Army Reserve-Puerto Rico.
All military branches serving in Puerto Rico were represented in the event, to include the US Marines, the US Navy and the US Army. The US Air Force was represented by the Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus.
"I think it is outstanding to bring all the Armed Forces together. We are brothers in arms. No matter where we are, Afghanistan, Iraq or Puerto Rico, we all represent the United States of America," said Gunnery Sgt. Dorian R. Valenzuela assigned to the Marine Corps in Puerto Rico.
The Armed Forces Day celebration is of great relevance to Puerto Rico due to the long tradition of military service that exists in the US territory.
Since 1917, more than 200,000 American citizens from Puerto Rico have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, serving in every conflict since World War I.
According to the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration, currently, more than 10,000 active duty military personnel from Puerto Rico serve across the branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Today, the largest federal US Army command in the Caribbean is the US Army Reserve, which has mobilized over 5,000 troops since September 2001.