spanish

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.

Jose Solis Ramirez


By Andrea Shearer

While the USS Gleaves Destroyer Escort was cruising the waters of the Philippines, Jose Ramirez was high up in the poop deck, looking for signs of the enemy through the scope of a 44-mm anti-aircraft gun. In quieter moments between battles, Ramirez was filling requests for Spanish serenades.

"They'd say, 'Come on Joe, sing that song again while some of us go to sleep while you're singin,'" he recalled.

Lauro Vega


By Miguel A. Castro

Lauro Vega distinctly remembers being in England and anxiously waiting to receive orders from the 197th AAA Battalion, the company he was in.

"They told us, 'All you fellows will be in an invasion but we don't know where or when,'" Vega said. "They knew but they didn't want to tell us."

On June 4, 1944, it would be a friend's reaction to a delicious meal that would convince Vega that the 197th AAA Battalion would finally be shipped out to be a part of an invasion.

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.

Jose Ramirez


By Will Potter

Jose Ramirez remembers his first job: selling newspapers in downtown San Diego. After walking two miles home at the end of his first day of work, he proudly told his parents he earned 3 cents.

He was only 8 years old.

By the time he was 12, he was paying for his own clothing and some other expenses, so his parents wouldn’t have to support him as much. He worked to ease the burden on his parents so they could support his 10 siblings, he said.

Peter Salcedo


By Diana Lee

As a child in southern California, Pete Salcedo hid in embarrassment during lunch to eat homemade tacos.

"At that time you didn't have all these Mexican restaurants," Salcedo said. He thinks their growing popularity in mainstream America caused him to stop hiding his Mexican food.

Tizoc Romero


By Dennis Robbins

Although he faced criticism from minorities for fighting in the war, Tizoc Romero, a veteran of World War II, feels his involvement in the war opened the doors to a lifetime of achievement.

During the 1930s, or Great Depression period, many Americans, especially minorities, faced the hardships of poverty, war, discrimination and an economy that excluded many of them. Romero witnessed a troubled country.

Andrew Aguirre


By Kathryn Tomasovic

Andrew Aguirre's youth was overwhelmed with battlefield events that continue to haunt him to this day.

Aguirre was born in Vinton, Texas, on Jan. 4, 1925, and moved to San Diego three years later.

Growing up during the Great Depression, Aguirre's parents, Maximo and Sara Aguirre, struggled to feed and clothe nine children. All 11 members of the family lived in a tiny home, about 480 squared feet -- two rooms of about 12 feet wide and 20 feet long, with an outdoor toilet and a faucet for drinking water in the back.

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."