Madiam Lamboglia Alvarez
Madiam Lamboglia Alvarez was twenty-years-old when he was drafted into the United States Army and assigned to the 65th Infantry Regiment, nicknamed the “The Borinqueneers” after the Boriquen indigenous tribe in Puerto Rico. His unit, comprised of Puerto Rican soldiers, was joined aboard their ship by Colombian and American troops deployed to the Korean peninsula. Prior to his departure to Korea, he had no prior knowledge of the conflict. When he arrived, he found it was difficult to adjust to the climate which is very different from tropical Puerto Rico. While in Korea, his specialty was in heavy weapons and artillery. He left Korea in 1953 and continued to serve in the military for eleven years.
Different from Home
Madiam Lamboglia Alvarez recalls that when he arrived in Korea, it was very different from his native Puerto Rico. He explains that living conditions were so poor that his troop had to make a lot of makeshift items for survival. He also describes the various things needed to be done to survive in the extreme cold.
Viva Puerto Rico, not for long...
Madiam Lamboglia Alvarez recalls an incident that occurred after a victory. He explains that his unit put up the Puerto Rican flag only for it to quickly be shot down. He elaborates on how at that time, Puerto Rico had just become a commonwealth of the United States. He connects how this affected the mindset of the Puerto Rican soldiers.
Madiam Lamboglia Alvarez explains that though he has not revisited Korea, he would like to return and see what he missed while he was there. He explains that during his time in Korea, all he saw were small villages and rice paddies but he would like to see the large, modern cities. He reflects upon the success of the Korean people since the war.