Richard Soto

By Voces Staff

In 1966, Richard Soto of Tracy, California, should have rotated off with his surgical team from a hospital ship off the coast of Vietnam. Instead, he stayed on, going AWOL, feeling an obligation to incoming casualties.“I told the doctor that I was working with, ‘I’m not going home.’ He says, ‘Well ... when they come to investigate, I’ll tell them you were here,’” Soto said. “I think he knew there was going to be a court-martial.” But Soto was not court-martialed; he was honorably discharged in 1968.

Rodolfo Saenz

By Lynn Maguire

Through the experiences of being a sharecropper, sailor, father, and landowner, Rodolfo "Rudolph" Saenz has learned the most about education, even though he never passed the sixth grade.

Saenz, along with his parents and five siblings, harvested from land that belonged to someone else.

"It wasn't easy, but it was the only way to survive," Saenz said.