Ramon Vasquez Lugo

By Mary Gould

When Ramon Lugo reminisces about his life, he speaks of hard work on farm fields as a child and on battlefields as a young man.

Once the Lugo children got old enough, they worked in the fields, picking cotton, carrots and cantaloupe during the summers in their hometown, Glendale, Arizona.

“I guess you’d call it child labor now. It was rough,” he said.

The family lived in the barrio on the other side of the railroad tracks from Anglos. "The tracks were like a divider: 'You guys belong there,' " he said.

Elfren Solomon

By Marisela Maddox

At a time when many Mexican Americans were segregated from Anglo Americans by socioeconomic and educational standards, Elfren Solomon confesses he rarely, if ever, witnessed ethnic discrimination in the military: The focus for Solomon and his comrades was fighting a war and overcoming the horrors of war.

"When you come to face the reality, we were fighting for our lives. We weren't bringing any nationality into factor," he said. "The main thing is we were fighting for survival. You had to depend on your buddy because he was watching your back. …

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