Recognizing, Engaging and Celebrating our Hispanic and Latinos Veterans
This September marked 51 years that the United States of America under Public Law, 90-498 celebrated and proclaimed September 15 - October 15 as National Hispanic Heritage Month. This month we recognize the contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans heritage and culture. At the Center for Minority Veterans, we will celebrate the brave and courageous Hispanic and Latino Americans, military personnel and Veterans that have “borne the battle.” Because of their sacrifice, we can experience and enjoy the freedom and democracy in the greatest country ever…the United States of America!
From the American Revolution to the current conflicts, Hispanics and Latinos have served in the military of the United States of America. As of 2019, 43 Hispanics and Latinos have been awarded the nation’s highest military distinction, the Congressional Medal of Honor). Further, Hispanics and Latinos have contributed continuously in the National Intelligence community, as Director of National Clandestine Service and the Central Intelligence Agency. In terms of service to our Country, 11% to 13% of military personnel are Hispanics and Latinos; and they have been deployed in the Iraq and Afghanistan War.
Further, according to data from the 2016 Veterans Population Projection Model, over 5.0 million Veterans in the United States and Puerto Rico were minorities. Minorities represented about 23.7 percent of the total Veteran population in 2017. In 2017, 49.9 percent of minority Veterans were Black non-Hispanic, compared with 31.1 percent of non-Veteran minorities. In contrast, the percentage of minority Veterans who were Hispanic was two-thirds that of non-Veterans (31.7 percent compared with 46.1 percent).
From 1968 to the present, Presidents of the United States have proclaimed this month as “National Hispanic Heritage Month” and called upon public official, educators, librarians, and all Americans to observe this month with appropriate ceremonies, activities and programs. The team at the Center for Minority Veterans will join our colleagues, partners and stakeholders from across America, and share awareness of this heritage month via our outreach efforts. We are anticipating that these significant actions, will lead to our Hispanic and Latinos Veterans and their families to capitalize on an opportunity to enroll in VA programs and services and use their earned benefits.
Remember, one of the main goals of our outreach efforts to Veterans is to make sure we assist partners and stakeholders with translating awareness and celebration of our minority Veterans into effective communication so that they can enroll and use their earned VA benefits. Again, please join me with acknowledging and celebrating our Hispanic and Latino Veterans during National Hispanic Heritage Month.