By Maj. Carlos M. CuebasApril 20, 2012
FORT BUCHANAN, Puerto Rico (April 20, 2012) -- The U.S. Army Reserve-Puerto Rico began celebrating its 90th anniversary by inaugurating a War Memorial Monument in recognition to the service of Army Reservists in the island, April 19.
"Our intent with this document is to mark the historical achievement of our Army Reserve Soldiers and to serve as a statement of the sacrifice, devotion to duty and professionalism demonstrated by our troops, when called to defend our nation in times of war," said Brig. Gen. Fernando Fernández, senior U.S. Army Reserve Officer in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.
Kenneth McClintock, Puerto Rico secretary of state, was the keynote speaker for the occasion.
"This monument is an investment in the teaching of history and serves as a reminder of what the several thousands of men and women did to preserve our right to pray, to speak our minds, to associate freely and to elect those who govern us," said McClintock.
The Puerto Rico's Senate, represented by State Senator Lycy Arce, presented a Senate Proclamation, recognizing the service of the Puerto Rican troops.
In addition, the U.S. Congress, represented by personnel from the Resident Commissioner's Office, presented a Congressional Official Letter to Fernández, highlighting the importance of the event and the service of the local reservists.
Soldiers from the U.S. Army Reserve have served in Puerto Rico since 1922. Then, the 373rd Infantry, a World War I unit, established its command in San Juan.
Today, the U.S. Army Reserve-Puerto Rico has thousands of citizen-Soldiers with high technical and professional skills in logistics, human resources, training, engineering, information technology, communications, law and order, among others specialties.
In 2011, the U.S. Army Reserve-Puerto Rico invested $140 million in the local economy.
Since 9/11, approximately 95 percent of the U.S. Army Reserve-Puerto Rico units have been mobilized and deployed in support to Overseas Contingency Operations.
Today, more than 200 Puerto Rican troops assigned to the command are mobilized to several countries around the globe, to include the Middle East region.