Kindness in Times of War, Juan Cortez

The Puerto Rican Experience In The U.S. Military: A Century Of Unheralded Service

written by Dr. Harry Franqui-Rivera; Senior Digital Aide, Monique Aviles


In Korea, Juan Cortez  felt compassion for a young Korean child playing on the other side of the river where he washed his army uniforms.

The child gesticulated to him that he was hungry.

His compassion surpassed his fear that the young boy could be part of an enemy trap.

Cortez started to bring him fruits (apples), which he would toss over from his side.

He saw him as a human being and not as a possible enemy.

It was during one of those encounters that he prayed he wouldn’t have to kill anyone in the war.

He believes his prayers were heard and he was able to serve without having to betray his principles. In the process he found his calling and decided to become a man of faith.