Austin

Candelario Hernandez


By Lucinda Guinn

Candelario Hernandez' family moved to East Austin in 1931 from Seguin, Texas. The only time he left East Austin since then, was during World War II, when he served the United States Army in New Guinea.

"I've been in Austin since I got out of the service," he said. "I never went ... nowhere (else)."

Childhood

Hernandez was born on February 2, 1920, in Seguin, Texas. The oldest of eight children - five brothers and one sister -- he often felt pressure from those around him. His only escape was to explore the nearby woods.

Carlos Guzman Guerrero


By Antonio Gilb

Over half a century after it happened, Carlos Guerrero remembers the incident in May 1945 clearly - because of what it symbolized about America's racial tensions, as well as because of what it said about how communication can solve problems.

The incident happened like this: Guerrero's 65th Infantry Division was liberating a Nazi concentration camp in Germany. But the platoon sergeant had too much to drink that day and was acting like it. He was acting rowdy, and provoked an African-American major, calling him a "nigger."

Elias Guajardo


By Kristen Henry

Deep blue, purple, coral. Even 60 years after Jesse Guajardo served in the Navy the colors of the seas and oceans he traveled still strike him.

"I went to the Pacific, the Pacific is blue," Guajardo reminisced at his home in East Austin.

"You get down to the Coral Sea and it's just like somebody is drawing a line just like this right here," he said, drawing an invisible line in the air, to show how definite the change in the color of the water was to him.

Zoila Antonia Castillo Castro


By Nicole Griffith

 

Sallie Castro is the wife, mother, and grandmother of military men. The walls in her living room are covered with pictures of the men in uniform and medals decorate the bookcases. Mrs. Castro, 74, is a true patriot.

Theresa Herrera Casarez


By Joanne R. Sanchez

As a child, growing up in Austin, Theresa Herrera Casarez loved to sing, dance and recite poetry. Later, during WWII, she was able to put her talents to work entertaining soldiers at USO clubs and at nearby Camp Swift.

"[For] Cinco de Mayo and Dieciseis de Septiembre fiestas my mother...helped me to learn [Mexican] poesias (poetry)," she said, referring to celebrations in honor of Mexican holidays. "She . . . made sure that I would have a new one for every year. People had no other type of entertainment. We looked forward to putting on the big show."

Paul Gil


By Andy Valdez

The Gil family story is one of overcoming the Great Depression and discrimination, as well as one of service, as three of the four Gil brothers would answer their country's call to arms.

Paul, Narciso and Otis would bear arms and defend their country, leaving their home, parents, younger brother Pete and three sisters: Ruth, Julia and Sally.

Juana Estela Gonzalez Chapa


By Misty Roberts

Estela Gonzalez Chapa's experiences during the war may not have all the drama and suspense of typical war stories; she was living in Rio Grande City, in South Texas. But her memories of the war provide a glimpse of what life was like for young women back home.

Narciso Gil


By Andy Valdez

The Gil family story is one of overcoming the Great Depression, discrimination and one of service: four of the Gil brothers would answer their country's call to arms.

Paul, Simón, Narciso and Otis would bear arms and defend their country, leaving their home, their mother and their sisters - Ruth, Julia and Sally.

Otis Gil


By Andy Valdez

The Gil family story is one of overcoming the Great Depression and discrimination, as well as one of service, as three of the four Gil brothers would answer their country's call to arms.

Paul, Narciso and Otis would bear arms and defend their country, leaving their home, parents, younger brother Pete and three sisters: Ruth, Julia and Sally.

Pete Gil


By Andy Valdez

The Gil family story is one of overcoming the Great Depression and discrimination, as well as one of service, as three of the four Gil brothers would answer their country's call to arms.

Paul, Narciso and Otis would bear arms and defend their country, leaving their home, parents, younger brother Pete and three sisters: Ruth, Julia and Sally.