Soldiers in la Guerra


Gilberto C. Villarreal, the author’s father, in Vietnam.

“The Edgewood Independent School District, located in a predominantly lower-income Mexican immigrant and Mexican-American west side neighborhood of San Antonio, suffered 54 casualties during the Vietnam War, one of the highest rates for a single school district in the country. All but three of those casualties were Latino, and 10 of them were from Edgewood High School’s class of 1967. Faced with these statistics during the planning of their 20-year high school reunion, members of the class of ’67 undertook efforts to honor their fallen classmates. On Memorial Day 1988, they dedicated the granite-and-brick Edgewood Vietnam Memorial at the district’s football stadium. My father, Gilberto C. Villarreal, came back from Vietnam. And though he attended another high school in the neighborhood, the Edgewood story is in many ways his story — and the story of so many Latino Vietnam veterans. My father shared much with others from San Antonio’s west side who served in Vietnam: He and his parents immigrated from Mexico in 1957, grew up in public housing and eventually in a modest home in the neighborhood, received his citizenship papers and his high school diploma in 1968 and his draft notice the following year. … Work by Latino veterans, artists and scholars have sought to fill in the silences left by the official archive and by the limited sampling of Dr. Guzmán’s foundational research. Some of these works include memoirs by decorated servicemen, like Everett Alvarez Jr.’s ‘Chained Eagle‘ and Roy Benavidez’s ‘The Three Wars of Roy Benavidez’; Charley Trujillo’s ‘Soldados: Chicanos in Viet Nam‘; John C. Trejo’s ‘Carnales: A History of Chicano Vietnam Veterans’; Z. E. Sanchez’s ‘Tiger Mountain: Hispanics in the Vietnam War‘; Juan Ramirez’s ‘A Patriot After All: The Story of a Chicano Vietnam Vet‘; George Mariscal’s ‘Aztlán and Viet Nam: Chicano and Chicana Experiences of the War‘; Lea Ybarra’s ‘Vietnam Veteranos Recall the War‘; Lorena Oropeza’s ‘Raza Sí, Guerra No!: Chicano Protest and Patriotism During the Vietnam War Era‘; Mylène Moreno’s 2015 documentary film ‘On Two Fronts: Latinos & Vietnam‘; and two oral history projects, Tomás Summers Sandoval’s ‘Vietnam Veteranos: Latino Testimonies of the War,’ based at Pomona College, and Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez’s ‘The Voces Oral History Project,’ based at the University of Texas. …”
NY Times
PBS: On Two Fronts: Latinos & Vietnam | Full Episode
amazon: On Two Fronts, Latinos & Vietnam

About 1960s: Days of Rage

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This entry was posted in Documentary, Draft board, Lyn. Johnson, Michael Herr, Nixon, R. McNamara, Vietnam War and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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