HOUSE OVERSIGHT AND REFORM COMMITTEE PASSES BILL LED BY REP. GOMEZ TO NAME BOYLE HEIGHTS POST OFFICE AFTER WWII HERO PVT JACOB CRUZ
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last week, the House Oversight and Reform Committee voted to advance bipartisan legislation sponsored by Congressman Jimmy Gomez (CA-34) to designate a post office in Boyle Heights after U.S. Marine Corps Private Jacob Cruz, a World War II hero who made the ultimate sacrifice during the Battle of Tarawa in 1943.
“U.S. Marine Corps Private Jacob Cruz served our nation bravely and honorably,” said Congressman Gomez. “With the naming of the Boyle Heights post office after Pvt. Cruz, we hope to help honor the contributions of this brave Marine and all Latino servicemembers who have given their lives in the service of our country. I am grateful to see swift consideration of my legislation and am eager to get this bill to the House floor and see it signed into law.”
Pvt. Cruz was 17 years old and a junior at Roosevelt High School when he asked his single mother, Gracia Cruz, a Mexican immigrant who worked as a custodian at White Memorial Medical Center, for permission to enlist. After initial training, Pvt. Cruz shipped off to the Pacific theater, where he gave his life while running ammunition boxes to gunners on the front line amid enemy fire. Pvt. Cruz's heroic devotion to duty played a vital role in enabling U.S. forces to maintain a foothold in the Pacific.
After being declared unrecoverable for 77 years, Pvt. Cruz’s remains were identified and returned home to his family in Los Angeles, where he was laid to rest with full military honors on March 25, 2021.
“We would like to thank and support Congressman Jimmy Gomez in efforts to officially name the Boyle Heights post office after our uncle, U.S. Marine Corps Private Jacob Cruz” said Mike Mahan-Soto and Alta Vargas, nephew and niece of Pvt. Cruz. “A true American hero, our uncle Jacob gave his life protecting others. We hope that this effort honors his memory and ensures future generations know of his service to our community.”
Pvt. Cruz served in Company D, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division. For his service and sacrifice, Pvt. Cruz was posthumously awarded a Silver Star and Purple Heart.
The post office to be designated in honor of Pvt. Cruz is located at 2016 East 1st Street, Los Angeles, California, 90033.