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Latino Caucus supports Illinois National Guard troops deployed to Puerto Rico

aquino 110917SPRINGFIELD- Illinois recently sent more than 100 Illinois Army National Guard troops to assist in the rebuilding of Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, as many on the island continue to live without electricity or clean water.

“Illinois has a large population of Puerto Ricans, and sending support to those who are struggling in their homeland is the right thing to do. I thank our troops who have been deployed to help as the people of Puerto Rico continue to rebuild,” said Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago), Co-Chairman of the Latino Caucus.

Troops were deployed over the weekend after Ricardo Rossello, governor of Puerto Rico, requested support as relief efforts struggle to get people basic necessities.

State Senator Omar Aquino (D-Chicago) was able to attend the troops’ sendoff; they will be joining 60 Airmen from Illinois already on the island.

“As a Puerto Rican legislator who represents a large Puerto Rican constituency, it is heartening to know that our state is willing to send National Guard troops to help victims of Hurricane Maria. Like many in my community, I have family members in Puerto Rico who are still without running water and have limited communication with the outside world. While troops from Illinois help our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico, I plan to continue working with community groups in Illinois to help the displaced families,” said Aquino.

Soldiers from the 933rd Military Police Company were flown to Puerto Rico by the Illinois Air National Guard’s Peoria-based 182nd Airlift Wing and Scott Air Force-based 126th Air Refueling Wing.

Other members of the Latino Caucus were also grateful for the troops now in Puerto Rico.

“I am so thankful that Illinois is stepping up to help Puerto Rico take on the massive project of rebuilding after Hurricane Maria. The millions of people struggling without food, power and water in Puerto Rico are American citizens, and I am proud that our governor did the right thing in standing with them,” said State Senator Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago).

“I commend our troops who are always ready and willing to lend a hand where needed. I’m grateful that our state can offer support to our fellow citizens in Puerto Rico who desperately need it,” State Senator Tony Munoz (D-Chicago).

“The most important thing we can do for Puerto Rico is offer our support. When a disaster like this occurs, we have to remember that the only way to rebuild and make progress is by coming together. We should all be thankful that we have such amazing troops here in Illinois willing to step up and offer help where needed,” State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin).

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