|Born||Antonio Santiago Rodríguez
March 9, 1950
New York City, New York
|Known for||writing, military history, editing Wikipedia|
|Home town||New York City, New York|
|Nickname(s)||Tony the Marine|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Marine Corps|
|Years of service||1969-1975|
|Unit|| H & S Company, 2nd Battalion 9th Marines, 3rd Marine Division
Antonio Santiago Rodríguez[a] (born March 9, 1950) — better known as Tony the Marine or as Tony Santiago — is a United States Marine veteran, writer, and military historian from New York City, New York, focused mostly on the military history of Puerto Rico and its service members.
For his work, Santiago was recognized by the 23rd Senate of Puerto Rico for being "one of the main contributors of content related to Puerto Rico in the open online encyclopedia known as Wikipedia". The Senate also recognized him as one of the main writers on subjects which relate to Puerto Rico, and an important historian of the Puerto Rican military experience.
According to Phoebe Ayers, member of the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation, this may be the first time that Wikipedia has been mentioned in a parliamentary or congressional resolution of this type. She also stated that it's probably the first time that contributions to Wikipedia have been cited in a formal governmental award, too.
One of Santiago's early influences was his father, a Master of Ceremonies at the Teatro Puerto Rico. While serving as MC of Teatro Puerto Rico, Santiago’s father directed and produced a children's talent show called Fiesta Infantíl con Joaquín Santiago. The show encouraged parents to bring their children to participate and perform.
Military service and education
While in the Marines (hence his nickname), Santiago perceived significant ethnic, racial, and national origin discrimination. In response to this, he formed an organization composed of American soldiers of Latino descent. The organization, named Latin Power in Unity, included soldiers of Puerto Rican, Mexican, Central American and other Latino backgrounds.
Santiago also developed a close friendship with Leroy Reese [self-published source?] who had formed a similar organization named "Black Power" for Black soldiers. Both men worked closely for the equal treatment of minorities and to improve relations between their members and the members of other ethnic groups in their company.[not in citation given]
Upon finishing his tour with the U.S. Marine Corps in 1975, Santiago enrolled at the Interamerican University in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. He graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Business Administration in 1979. In Puerto Rico, he met Milagros, the woman that would become his wife. They married in 1971 and had three children together.
In 1990, Santiago moved to Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife and children. At this point he reflected, "the only role models and heroes for Latino children were El Zorro, the Cisco Kid and Speedy Gonzales and," he said, "school textbooks failed to mention the many contributions that Latinos had made to the formation of our country [the United States].”
In response, Santiago began publishing a series of short articles about the contributions that Puerto Ricans had made to the American society. He is the editor of the Puerto Rican Military History Channel of the monthly internet magazine "El Boricua", a staff writer in the internet magazine "Somos Primos" and the official historian of the Association of Naval Services Officers (ANSO).
His early published work focused on military history, but later he expanded his research and documentation to include many other facets of the Puerto Rican life experience.
One email received from a reader of his articles led to Santiago serving to bridge two families that had lost track of each other for many years. It happened in 2007, when Santiago united U.S. Army veteran William W. Kouts with the family of the late David M. Gonzalez. Gonzalez had sacrificed his life to save Kouts during World War II.
On April 2010, Santiago discovered and wrote about Lt. Augusto Rodriguez a Puerto Rican who served in the American Civil War. It was the first time that a link in the American Civil War was made between Puerto Rico and the United States. Rodriguez was thus the first known Puerto Rican veteran of the United States Armed Forces. The significance of this discovery is that, until then, it was believed that Puerto Ricans had not served in the United States military prior to World War I.
In addition to his military history research and writing, Santiago is also a free lance photojournalist for The Arizona Republic. He is also a member of the national steering committee of "Borinqueneers Congressional Gold Medal Alliance," which sought the Congressional Gold Medal for Puerto Rico's 65th Infantry Regiment, and serves in the "Latino Alliance Advisory Board."
Honors and awards
- On 20 November 2007, the Senate of Puerto Rico issued Resolution No. 3603 applauding Santiago's military legacy. The Resolution called Santiago "an important historian of Puerto Rican military contribution, [who] over the years has documented the history of Puerto Rican sacrifice and heroism in the battlefields using the internet, the Puerto Rican Military History Channel, the cultural magazine El Boricua and Somos Primos." According to Phoebe Ayers, member of the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation, this may be the first time that Wikipedia has been mentioned in a parliamentary or congressional resolution of this type.
- On Memorial Day of 2008, Congressman Luis Fortuño read a statement about Tony the Marine into the U.S. Congressional Record.[b]
- On 10 August 2010, Puerto Rico's Secretary of State, Kenneth D. McClintock, named Santiago "Puerto Rico's foremost military historian."
- On 28 August 2012, the Latino Alliance named Santiago a "Champion of Character."
- On 11 November 2013 (Veteran's Day), Kenneth McClintock Hernández, the former Secretary of State and former president of the Senate of Puerto Rico, again gave special recognition to Santiago. McClintock honored him for documenting the sacrifice, and preserving the legacy, of Puerto Rican veterans throughout world history.
- In January 2014, the Wikimedia Foundation included Mr. Santiago's photo on the cover of their 2012-2013 Annual Report.
|Milestones as a Wikipedian|
- This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Santiago and the second or maternal family name is Rodríguez.
- Fortuño (2008) "Today, the Senate of Puerto Rico recognizes a Puerto Rican who after serving as a Marine in Vietnam [...] has become Puerto Rico's most widely-read writer of the heroic accounts of Puerto Rico's military men and women."
- "Tony "the Marine" Santiago becomes official ANSO Historian". Association of Naval Services Officers. March 16, 2008. Archived from the original on March 18, 2012.
- Senate Resolution #3603. Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico (Commonwealth of Puerto Rico). 15th Legislative Assembly. 4th Extraordinary Session. Senate of Puerto Rico. San Juan, Puerto Rico 20 November 2007. Introduced by Senators Arce Ferrer and McClintock Hernández. Retrieved 22 December 2013.
- [WikiEN-l] User honored by the Senate of Puerto Rico
- "The Arizona Republic"; “A medal, a debt, both of honor”; by "azrepublic_Faherty_20070527.
- Revista Fiesta Infantil; Teatro Puerto Rico; 6 August 1954.
- Latino Alliance Champion of Character: Former gang leader & Vietnam vet chronicles Latino achievement, heroism, and leadership! - Tony "The Marine" Santiago Latino Alliance. Retrieved 22 December 2013.
- El Boricua, Boricua Publications, Ivonne Figueroa, ed. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
- Boudonck, Greg (March 22, 2014). Puertorriquenos Who Served With Guts, Glory, and Honor. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. p. 144. ISBN 9781497421837.
- Wallace, Terry (1985). Bloods: Black Veterans of the Vietnam War. Ballantine Books. ISBN 9780345311979.
- The National Dean's List: 1978-1979. International Communications, Inc. 1979. p. 608. ISBN 9780915130252.
- Santiago, Tony (2012). "Real Life Love Stories: The Marine and the Girl Next Door". TouchingLives.com.
- Stanton, Alison (January 29, 2008). "Author Details Contributions of Puerto Ricans". The Arizona Republic.
- Santiago, Tony (2007). "The David M. Gonzalez – William Kouts Story". El Boricua.
- McClintock, Kenneth (November 11, 2013). "Mensaje día del Veterano Guánica 2013" (in Spanish). Speech by Secretary of State of Puerto Rico Kenneth McClintock posted in Facebook.
- Laureano, Eva (November 11, 2013). "Descubren veterano puertorriqueño que sirvió en la Guerra Civil". NotiCel (in Spanish)..
- "Antonio "the Marine" Santiago Recognized as Puerto Rico’s Foremost Military Historian". Somos Primos. September 2010.
- DeForest, Lisa (February 5, 2014). "Phoenix’s Historic Buildings". The Arizona Republic.
- DeForest, Lisa (October 11, 2014). "See Scottsdale’s Historic Buildings and Homes". The Arizona Republic.
- Congressional Record. 26 May 2008.
- Welcoming remarks Aug. 10, 2010. Kenneth D. McClintock. Secretary of State of Puerto Rico. Kenneth D. McClintock's Welcoming Remarks at the Memorial Wall, National Commission on the American Latino Museum. 10 August 2010. Retrieved 22 December 2013.
- Ten Years of Caring and Sharing: Wikimedia Foundation 2012-13 Annual Report