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VA Medical Center in San Diego is Honoring a Latina for the First Time Ever

VA Medical Center in San Diego is Honoring a Latina for the First Time Ever belatina latine
Credit: U.S. Army

There’s no denying that the Latine community has contributed greatly to the United States. 

From lending our labor skills during the Bracero program (and many other instances) to be crucial in fighting wars with the U.S., our presence has always been a constant. However, recognition has arrived in small doses. At least, until recently. The reality is that it’s getting harder to ignore the value of Latinos, Latinas, and Latines considering we are the largest ethnic demographic in the U.S. In some way, the Latine community is the new majority, which is how Latina author Ashley Stroyonov-Ojeda describes it.  

A VA Medical Center in San Diego, California understands the importance of this community.  

Recently, the VA Medical Center located in La Jolla, San Diego decided to rename itself to honor a Latina for the first time ever. Its new name is the Jennifer Moreno Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The VA Medical Center is also celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. 

Who was veteran Jennifer Moreno? 

According to CBS 8, Jennifer Moreno was a San Diego native who followed a career as a nurse in the Army. As per the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, she served with the Madigan Army Medical Center at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, as a clinical staff nurse on a medical-surgical unit. Then, in 2009, she volunteered for a position with the U.S. Army Special Operations Command. Moreno, unfortunately, lost her life during combat operations in Afghanistan.

CBS 8 states that this occurred during a raid on October 6, 2013; one of the residents detonated an explosive device. The fate of Moreno and members of her team were met when another IED was detonated.  

The Latina veteran has been remembered ever since. She was promoted posthumously to captain and was awarded a Bronze Star. Aside from that, she received a Combat Action Badge, a Meritorious Service Medal, a Purple Heart, an Afghanistan Campaign Medal, and a NATO Medal.

For those who want to pay their respects to the brave veteran, she is buried at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in Point Loma. 

May Jennifer Moreno and other Latinas continue to be honored. And may our community continue to remain safe and thrive in whatever space they are in.  

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