HVLA Announces Three Of Its Picks In Base Renaming Process Underway
Nation’s Top Ranking Hispanic Veterans Association Says Selection Criteria Should Include Service Record and Link to Each Facility’s Mission
Washington, DC – The Hispanic Veterans Leadership Alliance (HVLA), comprised of senior former military officers from all branches of the armed forces issued the following statement today and urged Americans to participate in this historic undertaking of renaming several of our nation’s major military installations:
“HVLA recommends Ft. Hood, Texas be renamed for the U.S. Army’s first Hispanic four-star General, Richard E. Cavazos; Ft. Bragg, North Carolina for U.S. Army Special Forces MSG and Medal of Honor recipient, Roy P. Benavidez; and Naval Station Rota, Spain as Horacio Rivero, Jr., Naval Station as namesake in honor of the U.S. Navy’s first Hispanic four-star Admiral.”
Each of these individuals has earned his place in our nation’s military history and deserves to be memorialized. Further, their stories must be shared with future generations as instructive examples of leadership and distinction. General Cavazos devoted 33-years of his life in service to our country with numerous honors for gallantry including the Silver Star earned in combat during decisive battles in the Korean War.
MSG Roy P. Benavidez’ bravery in Vietnam is legendary and his heroic actions are credited for saving the lives of fellow soldiers in the battlefield even after suffering numerous firearm and stab wounds in combat with the enemy. What makes his military record particularly inspiring is that he had earlier been deemed unable to return to active duty due to previous combat injuries but did so anyway through what doctors and fellow soldiers called sheer guts.
Horacio Rivero Jr. was aboard the USS San Juan at Guadalcanal -Tulagi, a lone raid on the Gilbert Islands and the attacks to seize control of the Santa Cruz Islands. These are three of the most difficult battles the Navy faced against Japanese forces in the Philippines. Then a gunnery officer, Rivero and his battery team helped save the lives of Marines making beach landings under withering enemy fire. Later, aboard the USS Pittsburg, he helped save the ship after it was severely damaged by a torpedo strike. He went on and received the Bronze Star with a “V” for meritorious service.
A Naming Commission has been formed by the U.S. Department of Defense and tasked to provide Congress with recommendations for changing names of military bases and other assets that presently honor the Confederacy during the Civil War. HVLA encourages all Americans who care about the contributions made by Hispanic service members to our armed forces to learn more about each of these proposed nominees and add their recommendations as soon as possible at www.thenamingcommission.gov.
The Hispanic Veterans Leadership Alliance (HVLA) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization of senior leaders, military and civilian, committed to overcoming the profound lack of Hispanic diversity and inclusion throughout the senior ranks of the DoD. Our mission is to advance the inclusion of Latinos across all leadership levels in the U.S. Armed Forces, military and civilian.