Navy

Joseph Alcoser


By Eric Garza

The Great Depression. World War II. The civil rights movement. Joseph Alcoser lived through these milestones in American history. Yet, he never truly felt that he was part of the country that he fought to defend.

Joseph Alcoser, or Joe as he was also known, was born in Melvin, a small town in central Texas, in 1925. One of 10 siblings, he was born the son of a migrant farm worker and like many Mexican-Americans of his time, spent much of his childhood moving from field to field harvesting crops.

Ernest George Gonzalez


By Corina Kellam

Before the births of his son and three daughters, before trying his hand at professional golf training and real estate, Ernie Gonzalez was a naval engineer.

Gonzalez attended Oatman Grammar School in Arizona first through third grade, before moving to San Jacinto, California in 1931 after the death of his father, to continue his school years.

"Oatman is sort of a deserted town now. There is some action with donkeys walking up and down the street, though," he said.

Toby Fuentes


By Nora Ramirez

For 58 years, the sounds of flying bullets and torpedo explosions have tormented Toby Fuentes.

Peter Casarez


By Joanne R. Sánchez

Pete Casarez's fondest childhood memory was playing baseball with his brothers, Frank, Eugene and Frutoso (Tuto) at the Catholic church playground, a half block from their home on East 9th Street in Austin, Texas.

"We were always together," he said of his brothers and himself.