Korean Conflict

Rodolfo M. Guajardo

Charlie Ericksen


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.

Alfred G Gonzalez

Rene A Cazares

Fernando Rene Del Rio


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 music.

"We knew we were off the coast of Japan," Del Rio said.

Del Rio explained that in high school, he had watched his two elder brothers, Jose and Octavio, return home after serving in World War II. He remembers an overall patriotic feeling in America at the time. He was among the many who enlisted after WWII.

Arnoldo Gutierrez


By SeungJin Ryu

Most people reach a turning point in their lives at least once, and for Arnoldo D. Gutierrez that point was the time he spent in the Army during the Korean War.

He believes that he could not have gotten a better education than what he received by just being in the Army.

Gutierrez, who was 78 at the time of his interview, was a high school dropout. He said he used to enjoy his school life, playing a bass horn as a member of his school band. He left school at 15 because he had to take care of two of his siblings and find work after his mother died.

Gabriel Garcia


By Ruben Espinoza

When Gabriel Garcia left his family’s home in Mercedes for Army basic training in the summer of 1952, it was the first time he had ever been away from South Texas’ Rio Grande Valley.

California’s Camp Roberts was very different from his father's farm fields, where he could soak in the dense, warm Texas evenings. But he was excited to see other parts of the world.

Pete Castillo


By Lynda Gonzalez

Pedro “Pete” Castillo used his snow-white mustache as a tool in telling his wartime tale, one of the significant chapters of his life.

A sergeant and World War II veteran was in charge of Castillo’s Army company during the Korean War, and he demanded Castillo and his Latino friend shave off their mustaches because, he said, the Army did not like facial hair, Castillo recalled.

Neftali L. Zendejas


By Layne Victoria Lynch

As 80-year-old Neftali L. Zendejas looked back on the memories of his childhood before his service in both the Korean and Vietnam wars, he reminisced about how he knew he wanted to work with aircrafts at an early age.

Way back when his father was working the farm of a Japanese family that had been sent to an internment camp during World War II, Zendejas said he ventured into a nearby airfield, to admire a Lockheed P-38 Lightning aircraft.

Luis J. Landin


By Brett Alexander

"When you get ambushed, you're supposed to get killed."

That's what the Army tells every soldier during training, Luis Landin said.

"But for me," he added, "my life consisted of events that weren't normal, so I knew what I had to do when the chips were down."