Corpus Christi

Diana Fernandez

Diana Fernandez was born in 1950 in Corpus Christi, Texas. She grew up in a newly developed, integrated neighbored designed to serve people working at the Navy base. Pursuing higher education was not a continuous topic of discussion in Fernandez’s household but it was expected of her and her two sisters. Living in an integrated neighborhood allowed Fernandez to also experience that same integration in the classroom at Incarnate Word Academy. The all-girl school included students from nearby cities.

Nestor Rodriguez

By Ben Wermund

In the spring of 1968, Nestor Rodriguez was desperate to get out of his hometown of Corpus Christi, Texas.

Facing social pressure after a broken engagement, the usually straight-A student was failing his fourth semester at Del Mar Junior College when he decided to drop out.

"Life became unbearable in the neighborhood," Rodriguez said. "I decided, you know what, I need to leave."

Joe M. Guajardo

Tribute provided by Grace Charles, daughter of Joe Medina Guajardo.

After two years of separation during World War II, U.S. Army soldier Joe Medina Guajardo was reunited by chance in Australia with his cousin, Juan Sanchez.

They embraced and made plans to eat at Sanchez's camp, but when Guajardo arrived at Sanchez's campsite, there was no trace of Sanchez or his men.

Juan Medina Sanchez

Tribute provided by Grace Charles; daughter of Mr. Sanchez's cousin, Voces subject Joe Guajardo

Juan Sanchez, an Army soldier, rarely talked about his experiences during World War II. Now, dementia clouds some of the decorated World War II veteran's memories.

However, when his cousin's daughter, Grace Charles, asked what he remembered about the war, Sanchez simply responded: "He said he'd come back, and he did."

Saragosa Garcia

By Sierra Brasher

Saragosa A. Garcia always marched to the beat of a different drum.

And his ability to play music, to change the tempo of his life, along with the assurance from carrying a treasured Holy Bible and his mother's prayers, may have helped him through tough times in World War II and in a segregated Texas.

Born Oct. 22, 1922, in Corpus Christi, Texas, to a family of musicians, Garcia says he was destined to play the drums.

Pablo Cavazos

By Rebecca Eng

With 18 pairs of boots and 15 cowboy hats, Seventy-eight-year-old Pablo Cavazos is a walking specimen of Texas pride.

His advice to young people is simple: Get a good start in the military.

"If they go into the military, they'll learn a lot of things there," Cavazos said.

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