Castroville

Raymond "Ray" Saucedo


By Jackie Rapp

If growing up in a family with 11 brothers and one sister doesn’t sound hectic enough, Raymond
"Ray" Saucedo’s family also didn’t just stay in one location. Saucedo's childhood consisted of summers when the family would load up a truck and wooden camper and head to Michigan, Ohio, or anywhere else that cherry-, strawberry- and tomato-picking migrant work led them.

“Wherever work was, we would go,” said Saucedo, who went on to serve in the U.S. Army in both the Korean and Vietnam wars.

Daniel M. Hinojosa


By Amy Bingham

As the first rays of sun peeked over the horizon, Daniel Hinojosa slowly opened his swollen, mosquito-bitten eyelids. The familiar sight of thick, damp jungle surrounded him. Inside his Army boots, Hinojosa felt the sickening squirm of leeches that had snuck in through his shoelace holes while he slept. Soon his fellow soldiers awoke, and the morning routine of plucking the small, black bloodsuckers from each other commenced. It was just another day as an infantryman on patrol in 1969 during the Vietnam War.

Raymond Garcia


By Andres Salinas

Raymond Garcia, a proud Mexican-American who grew up in a small, segregated Texas town, enlisted in the U.S. Army to help support his family and to help his country. He fought as a heavy machinegun specialist during the Vietnam War.

Camilo Moreno Medrano


By Ali Vise

The clock read 4:30 when an explosion shook Camilo Medrano awake and sent him sprinting in the darkness toward the moans and calls for help. He felt around with his hands, he grabbed the limbs of the men scattered on the ground, confirming casualties while searching for survivors. This was his job.

It was a job that took Medrano from his hometown of San Antonio to the horrors of the Vietnam War.

Antonio Flores Alvarado


By Kassandra Balli

“I know I pulled him back to the safe area, but I don’t remember how I did it," said Vietnam veteran Tony Alvarado, recalling the day he rescued a fallen comrade during the battles for Hills 861 and 881.

When snipers attacked Alvarado’s Marine platoon, part of the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines, only eight out of 30 men survived.

Placido Salazar


By Lena Price

Placido Salazar had a choice.

He could have gone to the bunker, where he would have been relatively safe from the mortar attack raging outside his base in Bien Hoa, Vietnam, in 1965.

Or he could attempt to rescue his commander and a fellow soldier, who were recovering from injuries and illness in their mobile sleeping quarters several yards away from the command post where he was on duty.

Juan F. Guajardo


By Anna Kavich

For Juan Guajardo, life before and after Vietnam was just as traumatic as the five months he spent overseas. From growing up surrounded by gang fights to struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder, the decorated U.S. Army veteran, who would become a leader of the Brown Berets and a civil rights advocate in San Antonio, continuously fought for his health and happiness at home.

Servando & Mrs. Garcia


By Mosettee Lorenz

Servando Garcia's 20-year military career allowed him to spend time in numerous countries, including France, Germany, Japan and Vietnam.