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Odilon De Leon

Odilon De Leon  

World War II

By Jonathan Damrich

Odilon De Leon wore his Purple Heart in the middle of his cap, right below the spot where it read “Okinawa 1945.”

“I’m proud and happy that I served my country,” De Leon said, “even though I was disabled at the...

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Raquel C. Garza

James Arthur De Leon

 

World War II

By Angela Macias

With an older brother John already serving in the Army in Europe, James DeLeon was adamant about going to serve his country during World War II.

"My parents were against me joining, but I thought I should do my...

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Theresa De Leon Weeks

Peter De Leon

Peter De Leon  

World War II

By Antonio Gilb

Peter De Leon considered himself lucky after returning home to Chicago after serving in World War II. At least 10 of his neighborhood friends came back in body bags.

The closest De Leon came to dying was a kamikaze...

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Antonio Gilb

Lita De Los Santos

Lita De Los Santos  

World War II

By Brooke N. Miller

World War II flung Lita De Los Santos’ eight brothers across the world. The front room of the De Los Santos’ home in Eastland County, Texas, was dominated by a map of the world. De Los Santos and her mother, Angelita...

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Raquel C. Garza

Jesse de los Santos

Jesse de los Santos  

World War II

By Cheryl Smith Kemp

Number 10 in a brood of 16, Jesse De los Santos was well accustomed to being a mere piece of something much larger than himself by the time he joined the United States Calvary in 1939.

Little did he know, however...

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Alejandro De los Santos

Alejandro De los Santos  

World War II

By Denise Chavarri

Alejandro De Los Santos of Laredo served overseas during World War II for about 40 months.

"I missed home but at the same time I knew I couldn't return," De Los Santos said. "I wrote to my mom very often to let her...

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Denise Chávarri

Felipe de Ortego y Gasca

 

World War II

By Nathan Batoon

Felipe Ortego was a high school dropout in 1943, but after joining the Marine Corps and serving in the Pacific Theater, he’d awakened a new passion: writing. And that passion would imbue him with a new identity.

“The...

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Mario Barerra

Hector De Peña

Hector De Peña  

Political & Civic Engagement

By Anita Rice

Hector De Peña never saw any action on the battlefield during World War II. He never stormed the beach at Normandy, never liberated the prisoners of Europe's concentration camps and never fired upon the Japanese or Germans....

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Karla Gonzalez

Elena Tamez De Peña

 

World War II

By Jaime Margolis

When Elena De Peña was growing up, her parents emphasized the importance of a good education. Her father was a mechanic and her mother ran a grocery store in San Benito, Texas; De Peña said they set a good example for her...

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Erika Martinez

Fernando Rene Del Rio

Crew #11 VP772-ATSUG1-NAS. Fernando del Rio standing 2nd from the left. 1951 March, NAS Atsuqi, Japan. Passing from crew #11 VP772 squadron PB$Y2 aircraft patrol Navy squadron.\We were the fist Navy Reserve Squadron to fly combat over Korea.\""  

Korean Conflict

By Avery Bradshaw, Cal State Fullerton

When Fernando Del Rio left Los Angeles in September 1950 and joined a Navy air squadron, it was the first time he had ever been away from home. Turning on the radio, he was surprised to hear Japanese...

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George Sanchez

Gilbert Louis Delgado

Gilbert Louis Delgado  

World War II

By Andrea Couch

Growing up in Santa Fe, N.M., in the '30s and '40s, Gilberto Delgado saw sign language for the first time: It was how one of his friends communicated with her deaf grandmother.

Later, that childhood exposure would lead...

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Andres Romero

Santos Deliz

Santos Deliz, San Juan, Puerto Rico.  

World War II

By Chris Nay

Santos Deliz and a few other men from his unit crept into the abandoned house in Germany, seeking refuge and respite from battle. After a quiet night, Deliz awoke with a shock.

"It was too dark; we couldn't see...when I...

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Lucy Guevara

Benigno Nevarez Diaz

Benigno Nevarez Diaz  

World War II

By Veronica Olvera

Amid the horror of war in the European Theater, Benigno Diaz found himself in awe of the deadly efficiency of enemy forces, struck by "how accurate the German aviators were," he said.

Diaz served as a scout during...

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Cheryl Browntein-Santiago

Joseph John Diaz

 

World War II

By Barbara Gibbon

Despite being in an infantry unit that saw some of the most fighting during World War II, Joseph Diaz takes it all in stride. His memory hasn't faded over the years, and neither have the realities of fighting a war.

...

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William Luna

Moses F. Diaz

Moses Diaz was interviewed on Thursday, January 6, 2011 at the Community Settlement Association of Riverside in Riverside, California. (Photo By: Marc Hamel)  

World War II, Korean Conflict

By Trina Berberet

He may have been only 16 at the time, but Moses Diaz decided to enlist in the U.S. Navy because, as he recalled: “I didn’t want to miss out on the war.”

It was 1945, near the end of the World War II, and Diaz...

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Leno Flores Díaz

Leno Flores Díaz  

World War II

By Kathy Adams

As an immigrant from Juarez, Mexico, living in East Los Angeles in the ’20s and ’30s, Leno Flores Díaz remembers going to school in hand-me-downs and feeling ostracized when the teachers anglicized his name.

“They had...

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Raquel C. Garza

Luis Alfonso Diaz de León

Luis Alfonso Diaz de León  

World War II

By Julia Bulhon

“War is horrible, but it helps you grow,” said Navy veteran Luis Diaz de León, of witnessing conflict’s brutality first hand.

As if that weren’t enough, Diaz de León has also withstood racism, earned a master’s degree...

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Raquel C. Garza

Alfred Dimas

Alfred Dimas  

World War II

By Christopher Trout

Alfred Dimas has spent his life in pursuit of adventure. This pursuit took him across the United States to find work wherever he could during the Depression, and in 1942 it took him into the U.S. Army as a volunteer....

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Dr. Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez

Beatrice Esudero Dimas

Beatrice Esudero Dimas  

World War II

By Jonathan Alexander

A church gathering, a pink dress and a comment to a friend 60 years ago set in motion the story of Beatrice Dimas. The party provided the scene, her dress caught young Alfred Dimas' eye, and his words said it all: she...

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Dr. Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez

Pete Dimas

Pete Dimas  

World War II

By Shelley Hiam

Memories of childhood and his mother's mouth-watering cooking remain fresh on Pete Dimas' mind. Sopapillas, chili with carne sauce and delicious beans are some of the foods he remembers.

"Mother was an excellent cook....

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Norma Gallegoz

José Antonio Dodier

José Antonio “Tony” Dodier - Voces Oral History Project  

Vietnam

By Adam Keyrouze

Both his father and his grandfather had served their country proudly during World War I and World War II, respectively. So José Antonio “Tony” Dodier didn't think twice about joining the Army.

Dodier’s first...

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Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez

Jeronimo F. Dominguez

 

World War II

By Caleb Miller

As he picked crops in Texas during his youth, Jeronimo Dominguez never imagined that one day he'd be taking shelter in a German foxhole while his comrades died around him.

Dominguez, who was born in March 1913 in...

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Lynn Maguire-Walker

Arturo Dominguez

 

World War II

By Kelsey Lawrence and Valerie Harris

Speaking in a labored but steady voice, Arturo Dominguez recalled with impressive precision the names of towns that his Army unit traveled through in Europe and the exact address --102 Casanova...

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Peter Haney

Richard Dominguez

Richard Dominguez  

World War II

By Courtney Stoutmire

Richard Dominguez counts his "blessings" every day when he remembers his time in World War II. The best part: It was short and sweet.

Dominguez was drafted in June of 1943, but he wasn’t sent into combat until...

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Steven Rosales

Rosalio Rabbit Duran

Rosalio\Rabbit\"Duran"  

Korean Conflict, Political & Civic Engagement

By Katy Lutz

Rabbit's Lounge was a dimly-lit, tiny bar that boycotted Budweiser while serving up some of the coldest beer in Austin, Texas. It might have seemed a very unlikely candidate for the Austin hub of Chicano politics in the early...

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Katy Lutz

Samuel Padilla Echeveste

 

Read More Michelle Lojewski

Leon Eguia

Leon Eguia  

World War II

By Liliana Velázquez

Leon Eguia has kept silent for many years, never inclined to share his feelings about World War II with anyone, not even his family.

"I saw a lot of things," said Eguia, who opened up during a recent interview. "...

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Liliana Velázquez

Ernest Eguia

Ernest Eguia  

World War II

By Stephen Stetson

Ernest Eguia spent a lifetime on the cutting edge. Rising above the crippling poverty of the Great Depression, Eguia was at the forefront of the Allied Invasion of Normandy during World War II and was also on the...

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Claudia Garcia

Ysaac C. Elizalde

Ysaac C. Elizalde  

World War II

By Ever Figueroa

You don’t have to be in combat to be a veteran.

During World War II, Ysaac Elizalde provided the troops with the food necessary to give them enough energy to prepare for the horrors of combat. Elizalde would go on to...

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David Silva

Davie Elizardo

Davie Elizardo  

World War II

By Israel Saenz

Davie Elizardo never asked for much. For a woman who grew up without an education, doing field labor throughout the day and watching one of her brothers go off to fight in the Pacific, the wellbeing of her family is all she...

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Israel Saenz

Delmiro Isidro Elizondo

Delmiro Isidro Elizondo  

World War II

By Jane Slater and Chris Schulz

It was a Sunday in 1941 when Delmiro Isidro Elizondo bought a movie theater ticket. As he did, he learned about the attack on Pearl Harbor.

His life would never be the same again.

His day, as...

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Kevin Klauber

Raymon A. Elizondo

Raymon A. Elizondo  

World War II

By Israel Saenz

Growing up in Utah, Raymon Elizondo grew up having to scrap: he struggled to get as much schooling as he could, stood up to those who didn’t welcome Latinos and earned what he could as a railroad hand for Union Pacific...

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Israel Saenz

Rudy Elizondo

 

World War II

By Brittany Rodriguez

He was only a child when the war began, but Rudy Elizondo supported the United States in his own way.

From his time in the Boy Scouts to his service in the United States Navy, Elizondo proved that one could...

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Markel Rojas

Miguel Encinias

Miguel Encinias  

By Sonia Nezamzadeh

Miguel Encinias lived what he calls a "child's paradise." Born the youngest of 16 children -- 11 sisters and four brothers -- to Benito Encinias and Manuelia Lopez Encinias, he grew up enjoying photography, music and...

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Brian Lucero

Charlie Ericksen

Charlie Ericksen, interviewed at the Voces Oral History Project office, University of Texas at Austin on February 27, 2010.  

Korean Conflict, Political & Civic Engagement

By Jordan Strassner

Charlie Ericksen spent most of his adult life creating a strong bond with Mexican-Americans, writing news stories and columns about them, and advocating for better treatment for that community.

During his...

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Frank Trejo

Mark Escamilla

Mark Escamilla  

Political & Civic Engagement

By: Voces Staff

Mark Escamilla, who is the current President of Del Mar Community College grew up in Corpus Christi and attended college there himself. When he was of college age, the court case LULAC v. Richards was in progress and...

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Elizabeth Quinn Phelan

Raul Munoz Escobar

Raul Munoz Escobar  

World War II

By David Muto

Raul Escobar hesitates while recalling memories of bodies lying on the sands of Iwo Jima. He bows his head before continuing, repositioning a cap reading: “Once a Marine, Always a Marine.”

“I used to get so many...

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Raquel C. Garza

Concepción Alvarado Escobedo

Concepción Alvarado Escobedo  

World War II

By Sandra Freyberg

Growing up as the oldest of six girls, Concepción Alvarado Escobedo learned early what it means to take responsibility. Even when she was hardly more than a toddler she helped her mother take care of her younger sisters...

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Sandra Freyberg

Andrew Esparza

Andrew Esparza (left), Pinky Escoto (middle),and Shultz Wiht (right)in Bougainville Island in the South Pacific,June 1944.  

World War II

By Jacob Collazo

In the late 1930s, as war intensified in Europe, the United States was coming out of the Depression, but not yet directly involved in the War. In San Diego, a high school student named Andrew C. Esparza was biding...

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Rene Zambrano

Angel F. Esparza

Angel F. Esparza  

World War II

By Bianca Camaño

Education was always important in the Esparza home. So from an early age, Angel Esparza expected he and his six siblings would graduate from high school and go on to college.

Esparza attributes his high educational...

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Robert Rivas

Noe Espindola

Noe Espindola - Voces Oral History Project  

World War II

By Megan Breckenridge

Growing up in an artistic family that moved between the United States and Mexico, Noe Espindola was immersed in two cultures and languages. In time, however, he was given the opportunity to serve his native...

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Philip Rodriguez

Manuel Espinoza

Manuel Espinoza  

World War II

By Xochitl Salazar

Manuel Espinoza's father, Concepción, was struck by lightning in 1930 while working on railroad tracks in Colorado.

The older Espinoza's death had great repercussions: His young widow, Ventura Mendoza Espinoza, and...

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Xochitl Salazar

Mary Espiritu

 

World War II, Political & Civic Engagement

By Rebecca Millner

In more than 40 years of service, Mary Espiritu De Leon received at least 45 awards and honors, recognizing her commitment to San Antonio's Latino community, and especially its women.

Her role as a spokeswoman and...

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Stephen Casanova

Gregoria Acosta Esquivel

Gregoria Acosta Esquivel  

World War II

By Lori Slaughenhoupt

Gregoria Esquivel was strongly influenced by her uncles who served in the military during World War II. Their patriotism and involvement in the war effort helped shape her perspective on life when she was only a child...

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Laura Herrera

Rafaela Muniz Esquivel

Rafaela Esquivel, studio photograph. Esquivel served as a nurse in the ARMY Nurse Corps with the 242nd General Hospital in Sissone, France during World War II.  

World War II

By Joanne R. Sanchez

San Antonio, TX - When she was seven years old, Rafaela Muñiz Esquivel - the second oldest in the family that would eventually include 15 children - began caring for her brothers and sisters. Rafaela stayed home from...

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Drs. Joanne Rao & Mario Sanchez

Antonio M. Esquivel

 

World War II

By Robin Larson

For Antonio "Tony"M. Esquivel, any romanticized remembrances of youth are tempered with memories of pervasive pre-war segregation in his hometown and the inescapable horror he endured in combat.

"I liked the service...

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Dr. Carlos G. Velez-Ibanez

Baldomero Estala

Baldomero Estala  

World War II

By David Muto

Growing up in San Antonio, Texas, Baldomero Estala relied on quiet independence.

In junior high school – from which Estala withdrew for economic reasons before fighting in World War II – he kept to himself, he says....

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Cheryl Smith Kemp

Jim Estrada

Jim Estrada  

Vietnam

By Lindsey Craun

Jim Estrada, a 17-year-old high school dropout, showed up for Air Force technical training in Biloxi, Mississippi.

He was surrounded by college students. But within several weeks, Estrada's intelligence emerged,...

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Lindsey Craun

Herlinda Mendoza Buitron Estrada

Herlinda Mendoza Buitron Estrada  

World War II

By Whitney Sterling

On the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, the entire Buitron family, including all nine children, was sitting in church when the pastor...

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Gloria Monita

Enrique Rodriguez Falcon

Enrique Rodriguez Falcon  

World War II

By Jennifer Yee

Like many veterans coming home from World War II, Henry Falcon remembers having a difficult time adjusting to American society. His return to the peace of America was a stark contrast to his three years of fierce air combat...

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Mr. Paul Rodriguez Zepeda