LETTERS: On Beto O’Rourke’s visit to RGV and Hispanic veterans

O’Rourke’s candidacy

It never ceases to amaze me how easily the voters of the Rio Grande Valley are bamboozled by someone who adopts a nickname that somehow bestows some type of Hispanic connection on them. I encourage all supporters of U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke to look into the young man’s past. Now his father-in-law, a rich El Paso developer, is bankrolling his campaign to unseat U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz. O’Rourke by the way is listed as one of the richest congressmen in Washington with a net worth of over $7 million, earned from a startup tech company he and his wife ran. Nothing wrong with being rich Beto, but really, you support the legalization of marijuana. Is that a lifestyle choice?

Jake Longoria, Mission

Protecting Hispanic vets

Today, like in the Vietnam War, Latinos are serving with honor and distinction in the military. In these difficult turbulent times with fighting in Afghanistan and when the risk of war with Korea escalates, we should reflect on the sacrifices and contributions that Mexican-Americans have made for our country’s military conflicts — both past and present.

This has not been more dramatic and more shameful than during the Vietnam War when more than 3,070 Latinos gave their lives. Sadly, we do not know how many Latinos served during the Vietnam War. The U.S. Armed Forces didn’t keep good records and classified Latinos as Caucasians. Nonetheless, many more came back home just to find out that their sacrifices were not recognized and their service didn’t earn them the respect they deserved, and they continued to be considered seen as second-class citizens.

Latinos distinguished themselves in the battlefield. They earned 23 Congressional Medal of Honor out of the 269 awards given to Vietnam service men from all branches of service. These heroes came from 11 different states and Puerto Rico. Among these Latino heroes who received a Medal of Honor are five Texans who fought bravely to defend our country’s democratic ideal. They were among the first to get there and among the last ones to leave. We need to make sure Latino soldiers receive the respect and the recognition they deserve.

Jesus Martinez,

Berwyn, Illinois