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Latinos in America took part in different wars including the gulf and revolutionary wars. Latinos made significant contribution in the US military despite the fact that their efforts were not recognized for a long period of time. The Latinos fought with a lot of patriotism when they went to foreign countries but they only returned home to face discrimination and insurmountable inequalities. They immigrated into America in large numbers during the times of Europe revolution, a factor that compelled them to face negative treatment from Americans. The new Latino immigrants had to contend with harsh treatment from the police alongside being branded a status of outsiders among other societal members. This paper will look at Latino experiences in US military.
Experiences of Latino Soldiers in US Military
Latino soldiers have continually been enlisted in US military as witnessed by the latest records that indicated that by 2002, more than 100 000 Latinos were enlisted in US military. It is estimated that by 2050 one out of every 4 American citizens will be of Latino origin and this shows the crucial role Latinos play in the US military. However, efforts of recruiting more Latino soldiers in US military have been faced with difficulties such as the introduction of the green-card soldier (Schmal, 1999).
To date, Latinos comprise a significant part of US population but they are not well represented in the military especially in the positions of officer corps. Traditionally, the US military has believed that it is only men who should take positions in the military but ironically, there are more Latino women than men in the military. According to the stories and poems in Latino boom, the representation of Latino men and women in US military has between un-identical. Latinos have been underrepresented in US military especially in the department of defense. Enlistment changes in US military for Latino citizens have been drastic where the number has doubled in the past twenty years.
The increased enlistment of Latinos in the US military has got both positive and negative implications for them. For example, Latinos have adopted the culture of Americans and speak English in their homes most of the times. As a result of their increased number in the military, the number of Latinos who have been losing their lives in the military has also been increasing. This is caused by the dangerous combat situations that Latinos are exposed to while doing military duties (Schmal, 1999).
The Latinos exhibited great courage during times of war attested by a unit citation that was accorded to the 65th infantry. Individual members of the infantry were also rewarded for their sterling performance in the US military. Nine Latino soldiers were honored for exhibiting heroism during a war that took three years. However, the proportion of Latinos in the military was small but they represented the highest number that died in military operations (Christie & Gonzalez, 2006).
As we have seen from the stories and poems in Latino booms, the population of Latinos has been increasing in the US, consequently increasing their numbers in the military. Their representation in the military has not marched their entire population in the country but they have gone above the total number that meets the required qualification to join the military. It is assumed that the Latinos have increased in the military to replace the number of African Americans that has been reducing with years. If the current recruitment practices will continue, then the number of American Latinos will continue increasing in US military.
Christie, J., & Gonzalez, J. (2006). Latino boom: an anthology of U.S. Latino literature. Pearson/Longman.
Schmal, J. (1999). Hispanic Contributions to America’s Defense. Web.