Gabriel Garcia

By Ruben Espinoza

When Gabriel Garcia left his family’s home in Mercedes for Army basic training in the summer of 1952, it was the first time he had ever been away from South Texas’ Rio Grande Valley.

California’s Camp Roberts was very different from his father's farm fields, where he could soak in the dense, warm Texas evenings. But he was excited to see other parts of the world.

Trinidad G. Martinez

By David Muto

Trinidad Martinez remembers the little things.

Like the long list of vegetables he helped his family grow on their ranch in South Texas before World War II broke out.

Thoughts like that punctuate Martinez's recollections of his time at war, during which he endured years of incredible hardship at the hands of enemy combatants and even walked in the infamous Bataan Death March. He seems amused while recalling these smaller, seemingly trivial memories of his youth, as if they've been uncovered for the first time in years.

Gilbert Garcia

By Meridith Kohut

There were ways to battle tedium in the long stretches at sea: poker games, movie nights and dishes of ice cream. But for Gilbert Garcia of Houston, Texas, it was mostly the poker winnings he relished.

At sea, Garcia was perhaps the best poker player on ship. He boasts being able to win hands despite other players sharing their cards with one another in an effort to beat him.

Roberto Gonzalez

By Beth Nottingham

Roberto Gonzalez had a Sunday tradition of listening to news about World War II on a big old radio in the living room with his dad, Catarino Gonzalez. Little did he know that his love of radio would be his ticket to making his father proud by serving his country.

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