After five long years, 95 year old Antonio H. was finally able to return home to Puerto Rico.
At 21 years old, a brave Antonio moved from his hometown of Aguas Buenas, eager to join the military. During these younger years of his life, he would visit home at least once a year to stay connected with family and close friends. From 1941-1945 at the height of WWII, Antonio fought for the United States in Company E 65th Infantry. Antonio was immediately deployed to Germany where he served as a rifleman, and was later sent to France and Italy. Following the war, he awarded two Bronze Stars for his brave service in the military.
After the war was over, Antonio returned to the United States in search of the love of his life. He eventually found and married her in 1946. Throughout their 63 years of marriage, the couple would frequently travel to Puerto Rico to spend the holidays with both sides of their large family. Unfortunately Antonio’s wife passed in 2009, and Antonio has been unable to return home due to health complications. Missing the bonds and time spent with his family, Antonio wished he could return to Puerto Rico to reconnect with his loved ones.
Thanks to the generous support and partnership of Philips Lifeline, Wish of a Lifetime was able to make Antonio’s wish a reality. On December 30, 2014, Antonio and his daughter, Norma, were flown from Sarasota, Florida to Puerto Rico to celebrate his 95th birthday. Not only was Antonio able to embrace his Puerto Rican roots, while being immersed in the vibrant culture, but was also given a surprise birthday celebration in his hometown on January 3. Antonio will forever remember reconnecting with family and friends on this special trip to Puerto Rico.