By Bryce Spadafora, St. Bonaventure University
During the Korean War, Francisco Ríos Padilla, a high school dropout, was determined to leave Denver, Colorado. One day, he walked past a Coast Guard recruiting station on 15th Street. He went in and enlisted on March 10, 1950.
“I didn’t tell anybody,” Ríos Padilla said. “They sent me to Cape May, New Jersey. I jumped at the chance to get out of Denver.”