By Mary Mejia
Felipe T. Roybal decided in June 1940 to help out his family financially and unwittingly began a military career that spanned more than 30 years.
Roybal's parents, Vicente and Isidra Roybal, were among the founding families of Las Cruces, New Mexico, the town where he was born. Before the Great Depression, his father and uncle owned a grocery store that brought in enough revenue to allow Roybal's mother to stay at home and raise Roybal, his two brothers and a sister.
"We played around. Baseball, softball, whatever," he said.