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2019 NATIONAL CARIBBEAN AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH

Date Signed: 6/7/2019
MARADMINS Number: 335/19

R 071851Z JUN 19
MARADMIN 335/19
MSGID/GENADMIN/CMC WASHINGTON DC MRA MP//
SUBJ/2019 NATIONAL CARIBBEAN AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH//
REF/A/HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 71/17FEB2005//
REF/B/SENATE CONGRESSIONAL RECORD 1320/14FEB2006//
REF/C/WWW.CARIBBEANAMERICANMONTH.ORG//
REF/D/MARADMIN 360/18//
POC/T. M. VELAZQUEZ/CIV/MRA (MPE)/TEL: COM 703-784-9371/TEL: DSN 278/EMAIL: THERESA.VELAZQUEZ@USMC.MIL//
GENTEXT/REMARKS/1.  Since first proclaimed in 2006, June is designated as “National Caribbean American Heritage Month.”  Each June provides us with the opportunity to honor Americans from the nearly twenty-five sovereign territories and dependencies within the Caribbean Sea basin, and to recognize their past and continuing contributions to the success and development of our Nation.  The 2019 observance theme for the Marine Corps is:  “Legacy of Service.”
2.  Corporal Ramona M. Valdez (Dominican Republic), a communications specialist, died in 2005 at age twenty while deployed to Iraq with Headquarters Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force during Operation Iraqi Freedom.  Cpl Valdez served in the Female Search Force guarding checkpoints and searching Iraqi women and children.  During her convoy’s return to Camp Fallujah, it was attacked by a suicide car bomber.  The bombing killed Cpl Valdez and five other Marines.  Cpl Valdez’s work as a communicator is highlighted by her contribution to the Counter Improvised Explosive Device Working Group, where her knowledge of single-channel radios was invaluable.  In 2007, the II MEF Communications Training Center was named the “Valdez Training Facility.”
3.  Chief Warrant Officer 3 Rose Franco (Puerto Rico) served in the Marine Corps from 1952 to 1977.  She left college upon hearing her call to service at the outbreak of the Korean War.  Upon completion of basic and advanced training, the future CWO3 Franco first became an administrative supply assistant.  Separating from active duty in 1956, she temporarily worked in the airline industry, but she soon returned to the Marine Corps.  In 1965, she was assigned as Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Navy, the Honorable Paul Henry Nitze, who recommended her for Warrant Officer.  CWO3 Franco is recognized as the first Hispanic woman to become a Chief Warrant Officer in the Marine Corps.
4.  LtGen Pedro A. del Valle (Puerto Rico) is acknowledged as the first Hispanic Marine Corps Lieutenant General.  Born on San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1893, he later graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1915.  During WWII in 1945, he was the CG, 1st Marine Division for the Battle of Okinawa.  Today, the Marine Corps offers the Pedro del Valle Leadership Scholarship in his honor.
5.  During this observance month, commanders are encouraged to recognize and celebrate the invaluable service and selfless contributions Caribbean Americans - military, veteran, and civilian - give to our country and Corps.  Commanders are further encouraged to conduct programs and promote participation in observance events within their commands and across their local communities.
6.  Release authorized by Brigadier General W. H. Swan, Division Director, Manpower Plans and Policy.//