Happy Veterans Day! Today, we honor the millions of military veterans who have served this great nation in times of war and in times of peace. We humbly thank these brave men and women who have protected our freedoms and thank all the military families for their sacrifices. Nearly 22 million veterans currently live in the United States. Their service will be forever remembered.

Many Latinos have served in the military providing an extraordinary service to our nation. Hispanics have participated in every major military conflict, from the American Revolution to the present-day conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Medal of Honor has been presented to 43 Hispanics. Rafael Peralta, Ramon Rodriguez, Isaac Camacho, Guy Gabaldon, and Marcelino Serna have all been nominated to receive Medals of Honor.

Hispanic veterans have served a major role in American culture and within the Latino community, individuals like Cesar Chavez, founder of the United Farm Workers of America and a Navy veteran; Desi Arnez, actor and television pioneer who served in the Army; and Ben Fernandez, the first Hispanic to run for President and Army veteran, have all left a unique mark on our society.

Currently, there are over 1 million Latinos who have served in the Armed Forces. I am positive that within this crop of brave of individuals there will be many national leaders and transformative figures, maybe even a future President.

As a nation, we need to do more to help recently returned veterans who are facing especially difficult ongoing challenges. Many post 9/11 veterans, not only  have to deal with the nation’s high unemployment and a shaky economy, they are returning home with physical and mental challenges. According to a new report by the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee, “one in eight post-9/11 veterans are living in poverty and the youngest of them have it the worst.. Among those ages 18 to 24, a whopping 21.3 percent live in poverty.” (read more.)

Groups like Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) have been created to help returning military officers adjust to civilian life.

“With the mission to honor and empower wounded warriors, WWP is the hand extended to encourage warriors as they adjust to their new normal and achieve new triumphs. Offering a variety of programs and services, WWP is equipped to serve warriors with every type of injury – from the physical to the invisible wounds of war.”

They are involved in a variety of projects assisting both veterans and active members of the military. If you can, please donate to the Wounded Warrior Project today.

To learn more about Latinos in the military, please read:


Today is Memorial Day… while most of America is shopping, getting ready for BBQ and celebrating the start of the summer to take a moment to remember the true reason for this day – our fallen soldiers.

We decided to spend most of the day on the U.S.S. Intrepid in NYC. Remember, if you have a chance, thank members of our military and veterans for all they have done! It is because of their sacrifices, and those of their fallen soldiers, that we have our freedom.

Thanking a WWII Veteran

If you have never heard of Fleet Week in New York City, you don’t know what you are missing!! Fleet Week, which coincides with Memorial Day, is a tradition of the United States Navy, United States Marine Corps and United States Coast Guard to allow recently deployed military service members some needed R&R in the Big Apple. Right next to the USS Intrepid several military ships dock and anyone can tour the ships for free. SEE EVENTS

As a current New Yorker I have enjoyed meeting and taking my picture with our brave solders. Here are some pictures from Fleet Week.

Fleet Week in the Upper West Side


With Memorial Day a few days away, it’s important to remember all the men and women who have served this great country. Freedom is not free…

Please take a moment to watch this is an extremely powerful video & say thanks to our WWII veterans. http://bit.ly/jUneTv

Can you help spread this important message?

This story is incredible. Send this touching two-minute video about World War II veterans to FIVE friends and family to remind them that every day alive in this great, free country is truly a bonus. Let’s get 50,000 views for the video by Memorial Day (May 30th) to show these living heroes, one last time, just how grateful we are for their unbelievable sacrifice. The video is a trailer to a documentary that will come out in November. The more we can show interest in the trailer (i.e. views), the more Americans will get to see the film. Time is running out: 1,000 WWII vets die every day. We are free today because of these men and women. The least we can do is watch a web video and send it to five people. Let’s get this mission done!

Special thank you to Erik Telford for sharing this message.


Walking through New York City on Tuesday you could hear people talking about the death of Osama Bin Laden. Many had first heard the news that morning, waking up to learn of the U.S. military operation that finally captured and killed the man who orchestrated the 9/11 attacks.

The covers of the local New York papers captured the mood of many in the city. The New York Post read “Got Him! Vengeance At Last! U.S. Nails the Bastard.” The front page of The Daily News’  boldly stated “Rot In Hell.”

Many who visited Ground Zero on Tuesday posted the front pages of these papers on the fence around the construction zone now housing the new World Trade Centers. Flowers, notes, and pictures could be found all around the site once occupied by the Twin Towers. Media outlets covered the entire area reporting live and interviewing some of the thousands of people who walked through honoring the victims of September 11th.

Below are some pictures from New York on Tuesday, May 2, 2011, the day after the death of Osama Bin Laden :

A newly placed flag on fence at St. Paul’s Chapel across the street from Ground Zero list all the names of the people who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.

Several members of the military could be seen around Ground Zero showing their respects to the 9/11 victims and recognizing the sacrifices of their fellow members of the armed forces.

Flowers, candles, notes, flags and pictures began to fill the fence around Ground Zero on Tuesday as New Yorkers honored the thousands who lost their lives almost 10 years ago. Below, the Ground Zero cross, the large steel cross now on display outside St. Peter’s Catholic Church, was found in the rubble of the World Trade Center by a construction workers following the September 11, 2001 attacks. The cross will eventually be relocated to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.


Like many, I was shocked to hear the news of the death of Osama Bin Laden, the man behind the September 11th attacks on the U.S. Being in New York City made the news even more touching.

Within minutes, my boyfriend and I where making our way downtown to Ground Zero.

On social media, as people shared pieces of news, some wanted to know reactions from NYC. @TeriChristoph asked “How’s NYC reacting? Craziness in Times Square?” I tweeted what I could see as I walked through the streets of NYC on my way to my destination. The city was quite as New Yorkers were still learning the news late on Sunday night. I continued tweeting and Facebooking the images I saw throughout the night. (http://Twitter.com/BettinaInclan)

On the subway platform in route to Ground Zero I could hear a few people calling friends asking for updates as news was still breaking out. They couldn’t believe Osama Bin Laden was dead. It didn’t become real until President Obama gave his speech moments later.

A few hundred people had gathered at Ground Zero (PICTURE). Some came waiving American flags, some were lighting candles, most where cheering “USA” as fire trucks drove by honking in support. Shortly after the crowd erupted in song, singing the American National Anthem.  (MORE: WSJ: Reaction To Bin Laden Death Rolls Across the Web)

Standing by the emptiness, once occupied by two massive twin towers, was a bittersweet feeling. You could tell that everyone sharing in the moment felt the same way, filled with mixed emotions, knowing we were celebrating the end of a saga in American history in the same place it sadly started.

Throughout the night the crowds sang patriotic songs like “God Bless America,” and tributes to the city with “New York, New York.” Many chanted “USA, USA,” “Na na na na, Good Bye,” and “We Got Him.” A young man wearing a shirt saying “I’m Muslim” climbed on some materials and for a while lead the crowd in cheers as he waved a large American flag. It was a joyous eruption of celebration in a place marked by so much sadness. The people came from all walks of life, of all ages, of all faiths, and from all parts of the world, all united to celebrate the news. They came to celebrate being American.

Later in the night, some came with signs “Obama Got Osama”  and “Obama 1, Osama 0.” Two guys climbed up a light post with the home-made sign, leading the growing crowd, now a few thousand, with the chant “Obama Got Osama,” which later led in to “Yes we did.”

The most touching moment of the night came when the crowd observed a minute of silence, Thousands of people became silent as they honored the victims of September 11th. As we stood next to their final resting place, many raised their hands, some making the #1 sign with their fingers. (Twitpic as it happened from @JarrodAgen)

The moments after continued with songs, cheers, chants and with some people opening bottles of champagne and spraying the crowd.

It was a powerful experience being at Ground Zero. Once again, we were all Americans, we were all New Yorkers … Here are a few more picture in hopes you can share in what we saw and felt last night.

All in all, today is a good day for America!