Senate Approves Congressional Gold Medal For 'Los Borinqueneers'

Senate Approves Congressional Gold Medal For "Los Borinqueneers"

CT National Guard: State and Federal Missions

Connecticut National Guard Military Working Dogs

NEW: Borinqueneers Congressional Gold Medal National Ceremonies

Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony in honor of the 65th Infantry Regiment (Borinqueneers)

New Veterans Benefits Manual

History of Connecticut Veterans’ Home

Connecticut: Ending Veteran Homeless

Korean War

The National Guard Association of Connecticut

MAJ Lesbia I. Nieves was officially promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel



Mission StatementThe Hispanic-American Veterans of Connecticut, Inc. mission is to provide bilingual (Spanish & English) services to any Connecticut Veterans who are actively serving, honorably discharged or members with a need to update their discharge, or retired, as well as their family.

It is with so much honor and previlege tha we continue our journey that promises to change the life our Service members and Veterans and their family who primarily reside in the state of Connecticut.

It is our goal that our members receive training to become service representatives so we may be able to assist the prior and current Service members in applying for their service needs. We also endeavor to grow the organization to allow us to provide couseling services to those prior and current Service members requiring it and to assist with housing, educational and health access, on a case by case basis.

We are currently recruiting new members to volunteer for this worthy cause. You do not need to be a Veteran to be a volunteer. We look forward to hearing from you so we can give back to Connecticut Veterans what they have earned. 

Brief HistoryThe Hispanic-American Veterans of Connecticut, Inc. (HAVOCT, Inc.) was founded on November 05, 2006. The organization was created from a group of veterans and community volunteers that came together after they joined efforts for several weeks to bring Hispanic-American Veterans representation to the Greater Hartford Veterans Parade 2006.

Two of the individuals that had the vision of such representation were Ms. Marilda Gándara, former President of the Aetna Foundation and Mr. Calixto Torres, former Councilman for the City Of Hartford and former Executive Director of the Connecticut Puerto Rican Forum Inc.

Their vision not only became a reality but also during the meetings originated by Lucy Goicoechea-Hernandez, Edna Berastain, MAJ Jorge L. Rodriguez, SGT Luis M. Vera, SFC (RET) Zenen Figueroa, SGT Luis Centeno, Edith Miller and Elsa Huertas, the idea to create an actual Hispanic Veterans organization evolved.  During the actual Veterans parade, the idea evolved to the point that not only this fine group of individuals came together, but they also brought forward more people and ideas.

As a result, on November 25, 2006, with the guidance of Mr. Gumersindo Gómez, Founder and Executive Director of the Puerto Rican Veterans Association of Massachusetts, a Vietnam Veteran and a Retired Army Sergeant First Class as well, a core group of individuals were appointed the responsibility to lead; they were the President, SFC Juan L. Cruz, Secretary, Luis Vera and Treasurer SFC (RET) Julio Diaz, who provide the organization the administrative component needed to make the dream of the organization’s mission a reality for the membership collectively.

2017 Yearly Monthly Meeting Calendar



The meetings are held on Saturdays at the Rocky Hill CT Department of Veterans Affairs
287 West Street - Commissioner's Conference Room - Rocky Hill CT 06067
(0900 - 11:00 HRS)

January 28
February 25

March 25

April 29
May 27

June 24

July - 29
August 19  (No Meeting - but Family Picnic will go on - Save the Date)

September 30

October 28

November 04
November 18 - (HAVOCT INC Military Ball - Save the Date)

December 02
December 16
(HAVOCT INC Christmas Party - Save the Date)

(Ask Security at the Gate for further instructions, if needed.)

SFC (RET) Luis Rodriguez Rodriguez


Dear brothers and sisters in arms;

I regret to inform you that on Monday January 23th, 2017 one of our brothers passed; this Borinqueneer received the Congressional Gold Medal in July 30th, 2016 at the Connecticut State Capitol , his name SFC (RET) Luis Rodriguez Rodriguez.  Without any doubt this U.S. Army 65th Infantry Regiment Veteran distinguished himself during two of the most incredible wars in USA, World War II and Korea War; in addition he was an amazing husband, father, grandfather and more.  God bless his soul and lets continue praying for his beautiful family.  See the obituary below, which contains more information about SFC (RET) Rodriguez Rodriguez. Rest in Peace.


Luis Rodriguez, 94, of Farmington, formerly of Hartford, died January 16, 2017 at UCONN John Dempsey Hospital after a brief illness. Born October 28, 1922 in Cayey, Puerto Rico to the late Marcos Rodriguez Colon and Antolina Roque, he was raised by his mother in the Polvorin section of Cayey, in the company of several siblings, after the death of his father in 1930. After attending the University of Puerto Rico at San German, Luis served in World War II and Korea as a member of the 65th Infantry Regiment "The Borinqueneers" -a unit of Puerto Rican soldiers who served in both world wars and Korea. Luis was married in Cayey on April 2, 1951 to the late Rafaela Rivera Rodriguez with whom he had four daughters before moving to Hartford in 1961.

In Hartford, Luis first worked as a Spanish-language Baptist preacher to the many Puerto Ricans who migrated to Connecticut to work in the tobacco fields around Windsor. He later worked for the YMCA, the Colt Firearms factory, and Colonial Bank before he retired in 1987. Luis then worked as a parking garage attendant in downtown Hartford until 2002. The recipient of a Purple Heart, Bronze Star and the Combat Infantrymen's Badge, Luis was very proud of his military service for which he received the Congressional Medal of Honor along with other living Borinqueneers in 2016. He enjoyed reading the paper, doing the "Pruzzle" in the Hartford Times, telling stories, making hackneyed jokes, and sitting in his rocking chair.

He is survived by four daughters: Judith Rodriguez McGann of Manchester, Dallas Rodriguez of West Hartford, Migdalia Rodriguez Merriman of Farmington, and Beth Rodriguez of Farmington-seven grandchildren Jennifer (Rich), Nevada (Josh), Erin (Casey), Nicolas, Megan (Tim), Michael (Jess), and Grant, five great grandchildren Michael, Mia, Moses, Andrew, and Harper, his Godson Manuel Rivera Jr., of East Hartford, two sisters Linfa of the Bronx, NY, Alicia of South Carolina, and two brothers Miguel and Alejo in Puerto Rico as well as many nieces and nephews. Besides his wife of nearly sixty two years, he was predeceased in death by his parents, a sister Juanita, and a special son-in-law Jeffrey Robert Merriman. The family wishes to extend their sincere gratitude to Maria Vargas of Companions and Homemakers and the staff of Day Break of Farmington in Plainville -

See more at:

Download this file (SFC Luis Rodriguez Rodriguez - Photo.pdf)SFC (RET) Luis Rodriguez Rodriguez (Deceased)[SFC (RET) Luis Rodriguez Rodriguez (Deceased)]277 kB
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