Fred Castaneda

By Ednna Solis

“For those who fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know,” reads a flier carefully placed in a Vietnam War photo album.

The album belongs to Fred Castañeda, a Mexican citizen from Aguascalientes, Mexico, who served in the United States Army for nearly four years, and as a combat infantryman during Vietnam. Although he was 60 years old at the time of his interview, he had yet to file for American citizenship. He still traveled on a Mexican passport, even though U.S. citizenship was offered to him upon his return from Vietnam.

Manuel Camarillo

By Kayla Young

Peering through the door he’d just kicked in with his combat boots, the Manuel Camarillo serving on the front lines of World War II Germany was a different man from the one he’d been back in South El Paso. Back then, he’d started fights just for fun.

“I spent my time fighting. I wanted to fight anybody,” said Camarillo of his early teen years. “My oldest brother would get two or three guys in the morning. He would get them so I could fight with them. I went in [the alley] and I gave them a good whipping.”

Joe Jaime

By Ryan Martinez

After a childhood spent dealing with discrimination in a small Kansas City-area community, Joe Jaime figured once drafted in 1942 into the Army, he’d finally get the chance to earn his American citizenship and ease the pain of the racial prejudice he endured growing up.

It wasn’t until Dec. 16, 1946, however, after being discharged from the Army and after World War II had ended, that Jaime finally was granted American citizenship.

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