Corpus Christi

Alfonso Lopez Davila

After being struck by shrapnel on a German battlefield on Nov. 27, 1944, 20-year-old Alfonso L. Davila, of Corpus Christi, Texas, was dragged to a big foxhole where he lay next to dead soldiers for five hours.

“It was the first time I ever saw so many dead soldiers,” he said.

Finally, he was rescued and sent to a hospital in Liverpool, England, for four months. He was reassigned to the Air Force’s 53rd Troop Carrier Squadron 61st TC Group and traveled to Trinidad to help with the war efforts there. Davila was well-received.

Diana Fernandez

Diana Fernandez was born in 1950 in Corpus Christi, Texas. She grew up in a newly developed, integrated neighbored designed to serve people working at the Navy base. Pursuing higher education was not a continuous topic of discussion in Fernandez’s household but it was expected of her and her two sisters. Living in an integrated neighborhood allowed Fernandez to also experience that same integration in the classroom at Incarnate Word Academy. The all-girl school included students from nearby cities.

Carmen Danna

By: Voces Staff

Carmen Danna was born in San Antonio, TX and grew up in Devine, TX. As a former elementary school teacher she experienced different forms of discrimination throughout her life. She reflects on her experience growing up in a small town and the importance the role of education had on her. Danna discusses the many disparities she experienced in the education system and why she still believes that education plays a vital role in our lives.

Felix Longoria

By Ashlyn Shadden

When Felix Longoria enlisted in the Army in October of 1940 as a 20‐year‐old from the South Texas town of Beeville, he had no idea what he was getting into.

Four years later, the United States was in the midst of World War II, and he was receiving the Purple Heart for getting recently wounded in Brest, France.

Longoria and his squad loaded up in trucks bound for Brest, where they came upon an image for which many were unprepared: Vehicles, dead Germans, tanks and trucks as far as one could see were all that was left.

Raymond Muñiz

By Amanda Roberson

When Raymond Muñiz came home to Corpus Christi, Texas, after serving his country in World War II, he expected to see greater equality for Mexican Americans: more Latinos in city positions such as mayor, for example.

Unfortunately, Muñiz says he didn’t find this to be the case: Anglos were still in charge and Mexican Americans were virtually powerless.

Pablo Cavazos

By Rebecca Eng

With 18 pairs of boots and 15 cowboy hats, Seventy-eight-year-old Pablo Cavazos is a walking specimen of Texas pride.

His advice to young people is simple: Get a good start in the military.

"If they go into the military, they'll learn a lot of things there," Cavazos said.

Elena Tamez De Peña

By Jaime Margolis

When Elena De Peña was growing up, her parents emphasized the importance of a good education. Her father was a mechanic and her mother ran a grocery store in San Benito, Texas; De Peña said they set a good example for her and her siblings.

Born Elena Tamez, she and her sister Rosa wanted to be nurses after they graduated from high school, and their mother insisted they follow their dreams. They attended George Peabody University in Tennessee, where they received training in public health.

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