By Voces Oral History Project
Andrew Melendrez lost his mother at 9 and his father a few years later. By 19, he had been drafted into the Army and would see brutal combat in Europe during World War II. He fought in some of the war's most harrowing battles, including what would come to be known as the Battle of the Bulge, one of the last major German offensives.
"I grew up more," he said of his war experience. "I had more discipline, more respect for people. I was more considerate of others."