Guadalupe F. Ortega

By Gillian Lawlor

Guadalupe Ortega remembers having to put a dead Japanese soldier into a foxhole with him to escape detection by enemy forces -- just one incident in his harrowing World War II military career.

Even before he received his call for duty, Ortega knew he’d probably be drafted, but didn’t relish the idea of joining the military. Although his near-death experiences in the Army justified his trepidation, he also acknowledges what he learned as a soldier helped him long afterward.

Jose R. Navarro

By Guillermo X. Garcia

José Navarro, a 20-year-old farm boy with a limited education from segregated South Texas schools, went to war in 1942 to better himself.

By the time of his discharge, due to injury as a member of the U.S. Army's 99th Infantry Division, Navarro had fought in two of the most decisive Allied victories in Europe: the Allied invasion of Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge.

After the successful Normandy invasion, the Allies drove through the French countryside, engaging the Germans in major battles at Lieges and St.-Lo.

Eliseo Navarro

By Tammi Grais

Eliseo Navarro and his three brothers found a positive experience, overcame the hardships and returned home safely.

Born in 1925 in Asherton, Texas, a small town 100 miles southeast of San Antonio, Navarro suffered through a segregated world. The whole town was divided into Anglos and Mexican Americans.

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