Natividad Campos

By Erika Jaramillo

World War II veteran Natividad Campos says he felt like an old man by the age of 9.

Kidnapped by his father at age 3 and raised by his Spanish-speaking grandmother, Campos, the oldest son of four, had no formal education when in 1930 he entered St. Valentine Elementary School in Valentine, Texas.

“It was hard for me. I wasn’t use to being around so many kids at one time,” said the 87-year-old, born on Christmas, 1921.

Ruben Robert Ramos

By Laura Clark

At 5 o’clock on the morning on July 4, 1944, Ruben Ramos stood on the deck of the USS Denver and watched three squadrons of Navy Hellcat fighters take off from a nearby aircraft carrier to attack the airfields on the heavily fortified island of Iwo Jima.

This would mark the Americans’ first attack on the island that would come to forever symbolize death, sacrifice, uncommon valor and the spirit of the U.S. Marines.

Estanislado Reyna

By Donetta Nagle

Estanislado "Stanley" Reyna braved enemy fire in the Philippines in a daring attempt to save the life of his sergeant in 1945.

"His arm had been blown off, and his left side was shot," Reyna said.

After repeated tries, the young soldier finally succeeded in summoning medics to the sergeant's side, and assisted emergency personnel in transferring the sergeant onto a stretcher. Despite their efforts, the sergeant succumbed to his injuries and later died. Reyna says he still thinks often of his fallen comrade.

Subscribe to Valentine