Olga Tobías Charles

By Voces Staff

In the spring of 1970, Olga Charles was a senior at Uvalde High School in South Texas. With just a few weeks before graduation, she was preparing to follow her mother’s career advice: Go to business school and become a bookkeeper, like her Aunt Julia.

Joel C. Mojica

By Rachel Fleischman

Before he was 20 years old, Joel C. Mojica had fought in one of the bloodiest battles of World War II, and had a Purple Heart medal to prove it.

Mojica was an Army sergeant during the war, and, like many young men of his generation, was drafted when he was only 18 years old. After he was called up on Oct. 29, 1943, Mojica was sent to Hampton, England, where he trained for battle on a daily basis. His role in the Army was as a replacement soldier; his unit sent personnel to companies needing men to take the place of wounded and dead soldiers.

Manuel P. Perez

By Jared Hill

Manuel Perez was one of the hundreds of thousands of Latino citizens forced by way of selective service to join the military after the United States joined World War II following the bombing of Pearl Harbor. And just like many other Americans, Perez had to put his own life on hold to serve his country, even though he never stepped foot on the battlefield.