President Obama awards Congressional Gold Medal to 65th Infantry Regiment, known as the Borinqueneers

The president signed a bill to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the group. (6/10/14)

THE BRONX - The 65th Infantry Regiment, known as the Borinqueneers, was honored Tuesday by President Barack Obama.

The president signed a bill to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the group. Only four military units have received this honor before.

The primarily Puerto Rican Borinqueneers were the largest, longest-standing and only active-duty segregated military unit in U.S. history. Some members of the unit are from the Bronx.

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The group served in World War I, World War II and the Korean War. Director of the Southern New York Regional Borinqueneer Gold Medal Alliance Juan Varela says the award is long overdue.

Varela says the fight to get the medal started in 2012 in the Bronx, with the help of Assemblywoman Carmen Arroy.

The regiment also won numerous other awards, including two presidential unit citations.

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