CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo — The adjutant generals of the Puerto Rican National Guard and North Dakota National Guard visit Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo July 24.
Puerto Rican army Maj. Gen. Antonio J. Vicens, adjutant general, Puerto Rico National Guard, and Army Maj. Gen. David A. Sprynczynatyk, adjutant general, North Dakota National Guard, both visited the base in order to attend the Transfer of Authority Ceremony, from Multinational Battle Group East, NATO Kosovo Force 12 to MNBG E, KFOR 13.
During their visit to Kosovo, both also visited local communities and toured area landmarks.
“We took the generals to see the Freedom Bridge and the Shrine of the Black Madonna,” said Puerto Rican army Capt. Jose Plaza, Caguas, Joint Visitors Bureau. “They are two of the local communities’ main attractions.”
“We were here for the ceremony, but we wanted to get out and see the people,” said Vicens. “I wanted to see the people my soldiers will be working with.”
The Freedom Bridge in Viti/Vitina, was built over the canal that separates the town into two distinct sections.
“One side was predominately Albanian the other Serbian,” said Puerto Rican army Capt. Angel Lopez, of Guanica, team leader, 192nd Liaison Monitoring Team. “The bridge symbolizes the town getting over old grudges and moving forward.”
The second stop on the tour was the Shrine of the Black Madonna in Letnica/Letnice.
“The church was beautiful,” said Sprynczynatyk. “It is a very beautiful place, and the history here is impressive.”
The generals left with a new sense of what their soldiers have been doing and what their soldiers will be facing for the next several months.
“I came here with one impression of Kosovo. I am leaving with an entirely different perspective,” said Vicens. “Kosovo is beautiful and is extremely receptive to our presence here. The people here are making progress; they are taking huge steps forward. They have started to embrace diversity, which is what makes a country strong. I am definitely looking forward to my next visit here.”