By Shan Dunn
One night in December of 1941, the world changed for Robert John Chavez. He was in the 9th grade and a 15-year-old teenager, attending a dance marathon, when word came over the radio that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor.
Not long after, Chavez dropped out of school and went to California, where he worked in a shipyard, assisting in the construction of U.S. warships. He worked there until he was drafted on Sept. 4, 1944.