Robert L. Cardenas

By Rachel Platis

In 1939, National Guard Pvt. Robert Cardenas was in the final stage of obtaining a full scholarship to the California Institute of Technology, having just completed two years of pre-engineering study at San Diego State College. In one hand, he held a letter regarding the scholarship; in the other, a letter from his commanding officer:

“Welcome, Private Cardenas, we are going to the Philippines,” Cardenas recalled the communiqué reading.

Eduardo Peniche

By Fernando Dovalina

Even though he stands only five feet five, Ed Peniche must be one of the tallest men in the world. Every time this son of Mexico has been challenged in life, he has measured up – and then some.

He measured up as a soldier fighting for his adopted country, the United States, in World War II, although he wasn’t yet a citizen. He was wounded in action, and he saved the lives of fellow soldiers by endangering his own. His heroism earned him a handful of medals, including the Purple Heart and two Bronze Stars.

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