Coast Guard

Francisco Armando Ríos Padilla

By Bryce Spadafora, St. Bonaventure University

During the Korean War, Francisco Ríos Padilla, a high school dropout, was determined to leave Denver, Colorado. One day, he walked past a Coast Guard recruiting station on 15th Street. He went in and enlisted on March 10, 1950.

“I didn’t tell anybody,” Ríos Padilla said. “They sent me to Cape May, New Jersey. I jumped at the chance to get out of Denver.”

Felix R. Soto Jr.

By Tim Garlitz

To see the world, not to mention to avoid getting drafted into the Army, Felix Soto Jr. quickly signed up for the Coast Guard upon graduating from high school in June of 1942.

Three out of Soto’s four brothers soon followed his lead by enlisting in the Navy. (His youngest brother, Mario, was ineligible for service because of his young age.)

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