A Patriot After All: The Story of a Chicano Vietnam Vet by Juan Ramirez

By Juan Ramirez

Juan Ramirez constantly believed he might die in Vietnam. As turning out to be up within the San Francisco region within the early Nineteen Sixties, "Nam was once there, simply over the horizon, just like the far-off thump of artillery. His father and uncles had served in international struggle II, one other uncle in Korea. various cousins had enlisted. At nineteen, Ramirez made up our minds to include the conflict. In 1968, the 12 months of the Tet offensive, Ramirez joined the U.S. marines. bloody excursions later, Ramirez survived, yet at tremendous rate. two times wounded, undesirably discharged, and suffering from survivor's guilt, Ramirez surveys the toll of Vietnam on flesh and spirit during this eye-catching memoir. Ramirez tells his tale in a voice infrequently heard from the warfare, that of a Chicano soldier. by way of tracing his roots, and exploring the cultural pressures and social demons that weighed on his kinfolk and group, Ramirez deals an unflinching examine the autumn and redemption of 1 Mexican American veteran.

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We also could only speak Spanish with Grandma Bautista, but we were not allowed to use it in any other situation and especially not at school, but that was not allowed, anyway. The first house my parents purchased was a brand-new two-bedroom tract home in East Menlo Park. After a series of hard-labor jobs and working two and three jobs simultaneously, my dad found a good job at a new manufacturing plant in Palo Alto, making telephone and electrical power line products. He was happy and optimistic.

I quit my job at the grocery store when the men who had hired me sold it. And I had been fired from a post office job for telling my boss to perform an impossible sexual act on himself. There was no escaping the inevitable. " It seemed natural. I was aware of the political struggle in our own country over the righteousness of the war. I took the side I believed was the right one. I was eighteen years old and needed no permission from my parents to enlist in the Marine Corps. I entered a six-month early enlistment program, which meant I would get six months off my total enlistment at the end.

Page 11 My father enlisted in the navy at the age of seventeen by lying about his age. It was 1944. Dad's two older brothers, Jesse and Peter, were already in the army, fighting Germans. Dad was on a landing support transport (LST), one of those ships that opens at the bow like a giant whale's mouth to let trucks, tanks, and men file onto the beach. Dad doesn't talk much about anything deep, but I grew up hearing a lot about his war years. Although Dad's World War II and navy stories are mixed with resentment and pain, he is very proud of his service.

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