McAllen

Rafael Guerra


By Nikki Muñoz

Rafael A. Guerra has always had an optimistic outlook on life, relying on an affirmation for help through life's rough spots, including his tour of duty: "If the sun comes out today, it is going to shine on me; if it doesn't come out, it won't," said Guerra, relating the mantra.

Nathan Edgar Bossom


By Stephanie Threinen

Alabama native Nathan Edgar Bossom had never set foot outside of the South before he was drafted into World War II at the age of 20.

Although he’s Anglo, Bossom notes there was camaraderie among the troops of his unit in spite of their different backgrounds. He says he especially remembers Hector Barrera, a fellow soldier with whom he became good friends.

Mary A. Bossom


By Stephanie Threinen

Alabama native Nathan Edgar Bossom had never set foot outside of the South before he was drafted into World War II at the age of 20.

Although he’s Anglo, Bossom notes there was camaraderie among the troops of his unit in spite of their different backgrounds. He says he especially remembers Hector Barrera, a fellow soldier with whom he became good friends.

Ubaldo Arizmendi


By Gin Kai

Ubalbo C. Arizmendi is grateful to have seen the world, but regrets having seen it at a time when it was trying to destroy itself.

Born in the South Texas town of Brownsville, Arizmendi was 8 when his mother died. Although he knew his father, an aunt served as caretaker for him and two brothers.

With an absent father, he was forced to grow up quickly. At 10, he learned to be a mechanic by working at a garage across the street from his house.

"Our lives were very poor," he said. "We didn't have any luxuries."

Andres Chavez Rodriguez


By Erika Martinez

When Andres Chavez Rodriguez was 16 years old in a small village in the state of Nuevo Leon, Mexico, his father sent him to live with his uncle in Monterrey.

"From then on, my life changed," Chavez Rodriguez said.

Heriberto Longoria


by Minette Hernandez

MCALLEN, Texas -- Ask Heriberto Longoria, Sr. about the license plate on his 1996 Mercury Grand Marquis, and he will proudly tell you the piece of metal, which displays a Purple Heart, cost him only three dollars. To earn those plates, he valiantly fought in World War II, but the scars of war, which tend to toughen a man, have not overcome the 81-year-old veteran.