Frank Cordero

By Sarah Jackson

Drafted at 21, Frank Cordero endured hardships typical of most soldiers. But in telling his story, he prefers to dwell on the lighter side of war.

Born in 1921 in Alamogordo, N.M., Cordero was the youngest of five children born to Felix Cordero and Benjardina Gonzales Cordero. He joined the U.S. Army in 1942 and was sent to Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, before being shipped out to Camp Gruber near Muskogee, Okla., for basic training. The "final exam" of the yearlong training was three months of maneuvers in the Louisiana swamps.