By Juan Ramirez
Juan Ramirez continually believed he might die in Vietnam. As becoming up within the San Francisco region within the early Sixties, "Nam used to be there, simply over the horizon, just like the far away thump of artillery. His father and uncles had served in international struggle II, one other uncle in Korea. a variety of cousins had enlisted. At nineteen, Ramirez made up our minds to include the struggle. In 1968, the yr of the Tet offensive, Ramirez joined the U.S. marines. bloody excursions later, Ramirez survived, yet at colossal expense. two times wounded, undesirably discharged, and tormented by 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 hardly heard from the conflict, 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 neighborhood, Ramirez bargains an unflinching examine the autumn and redemption of 1 Mexican American veteran.
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Extra info for A Patriot After All: The Story of a Chicano Vietnam Vet
Then he bought us a Doughboy swimming pool and everything that went with it. My dad was near the top of his world, and we all shared in that feeling. I became quite cocky in many ways. Nothing made me more popular than the fact that I worked in a grocery store and had access to beer. At first I would stash beer behind the store and sneak the money for it into the cash register. No one knew any better. I would buy only enough for myself and my closest friends, and they would share in the cost. After a while, I started selling it at a profit to other kids I was only acquainted with.
On my mother's side of the family, my greatgrandparents are the immigrant generation. My maternal great-grandmother, Angelita Cortez Bautista, was born in Toyahua, Zacatecas, Mexico, and came to California at the Page 4 age of fourteen. Until the day she died, she regretted leaving Mexico. Angelita was, according to my mother, a very angry woman who sometimes drank to excess. When she would get drunk, she would sometimes pull out her gun and fire shots into the walls and ceiling, crying and sobbing about her beloved Mexico.
Unknown to us until we met and talked again at the induction center on our way to boot camp, we had dated sisters: he had gone steady with my former girlfriend's older sister. Our rivalry evaporated in that instant. Not surprising, considering where we were going. The friendship was more of a salvation to me than him. Besides keeping me from being beaten up, he gave me encouragement when my spirits were low. With a lot of support from Paul, I got through those first two weeks and even finally got in sync with the drill demands.