Fred Castaneda

By Ednna Solis

“For those who fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know,” reads a flier carefully placed in a Vietnam War photo album.

The album belongs to Fred Castañeda, a Mexican citizen from Aguascalientes, Mexico, who served in the United States Army for nearly four years, and as a combat infantryman during Vietnam. Although he was 60 years old at the time of his interview, he had yet to file for American citizenship. He still traveled on a Mexican passport, even though U.S. citizenship was offered to him upon his return from Vietnam.

Adolfo Roberto Ramirez

By David M. Ramirez

On June 6, 1944, Staff Sergeant Adolfo Roberto “Rusty” Ramirez was a member of the largest invasion force in all of recorded history. He was assigned to the 29th Infantry Division, 116th Regimental Combat Team’s 121st Combat Engineering Battalion. The 29th and 1st Infantry Divisions had been given the mission to assault Omaha beach in Normandy, France. Of this 55,000-man combat force assigned to Omaha beach, the 116th Regimental Combat Team of the 29th Infantry Division was assigned to land at Zone “Dog Green.”

Manuel Camarillo

By Kayla Young

Peering through the door he’d just kicked in with his combat boots, the Manuel Camarillo serving on the front lines of World War II Germany was a different man from the one he’d been back in South El Paso. Back then, he’d started fights just for fun.

“I spent my time fighting. I wanted to fight anybody,” said Camarillo of his early teen years. “My oldest brother would get two or three guys in the morning. He would get them so I could fight with them. I went in [the alley] and I gave them a good whipping.”

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