Alberto Rede

By Barrett Williams

Flying at full speed above Australia in a C-47 during WWII, radioman Alberto Rede heard bullets ripping through the plane, followed by a sputtering engine.

His mind raced: If power to the engines is lost, the plane will become a gliding, uncontrollable mass that could drop out of the sky.

Juana Mani Sierra

By Lindsay Fitzpatrick

Almost 100 years after her parents immigrated from Zacatecas, Juana Maria Mani Moreno Sierra considers her Mexican heritage a gift.

“God gave me my mom and my dad and their Spanish. It is so beautiful to talk real Spanish,” Sierra said. “And I give thanks to God that my children know both languages.”

Growing up in the New Mexican mining town of Fierro, in the southwest corner of the state, being the child of immigrants wasn’t always easy: discrimination and poverty were prevalent.

Moses Aleman

By Cheryl Smith Kemp

When Moses “Moe” Alemán’s parents emigrated from Mexico to Austin, Texas, as children, the horse and buggy was one of the most common modes of transportation and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport was a bunch of farmland.

That’s where Arturo Alemán and Antonia Garza first met, in the community encompassing the fields in which their parents both labored.

Richard Savala

By Ismael Martinez

Richard Savala and his family worked hard to live the American dream.

Savala's parents moved to the United States from Mexico to provide a better life for their family. And Savala did enjoy a better life: serving his country during World War II to help prepare troops for the Normandy Invasion and bringing home an English bride.

Arnulfo D. Azios

By Ann Harbour

As the tower bells at the University of Texas at Austin rang "You're in the Army Now," Arnulfo “A.D.” Azios and fellow members of what was called the Enlisted Reserve Corps were called to duty. Judge Azios proudly recalls an article that ran on the front page of The Daily Texan, the university's student newspaper.

Oswaldo V. Ramirez

By Robert Mayer

Refusing to be segregated or treated as second-class citizens, Oswaldo Ramirez and about 15 of his Mission, Texas, schoolmates boycotted the new junior high school built solely for Spanish-speaking students.

Armando Miguel Rodriguez

By Heather Anne Watkins

Dr. Armando Rodriguez knows what it's like to be oppressed, but with a strong will he rose to the top and is living a long, happy life. Immigrating to the U.S. from Mexico when he was six years old, growing up in a family of eight siblings and leading Latino organizations in high school that he said were deprived of opportunities given to white students were only a few of the obstacles Rodriguez had to overcome.

Marcus Lopez Gomez

By Otto Smith-Goeke

Marcus Lopez Gomez has seen many forms of racial discrimination and difficult economic times throughout his life. As a veteran of World War II, Gomez's war experiences, family-oriented perspective and emphasis on work has helped him immensely.

"The war makes you think more like a man. It helped a lot of soldiers become men," he said. "Drugs were a big problem for some [before the war]. But after the war, they came back wanting to work and make money and get a better job."