By Juan Ramirez
Juan Ramirez continuously believed he may die in Vietnam. As turning out to be up within the San Francisco zone 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 global warfare II, one other uncle in Korea. various cousins had enlisted. At nineteen, Ramirez determined to embody the struggle. In 1968, the 12 months of the Tet offensive, Ramirez joined the U.S. marines. bloody excursions later, Ramirez survived, yet at massive price. two times wounded, undesirably discharged, and stricken by survivor's guilt, Ramirez surveys the toll of Vietnam on flesh and spirit during this attractive memoir. Ramirez tells his tale in a voice infrequently 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 kin and neighborhood, Ramirez bargains an unflinching examine the autumn and redemption of 1 Mexican American veteran.
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Extra resources for A Patriot After All: The Story of a Chicano Vietnam Vet
I seriously gave thought to deserting. I even had a plan, and if a friend hadn't convinced me not to, I would have. Nothing in my life to this point had been as demanding as this physical and psychological torture. My own personal nightmare with Sergeant King ended after fourteen days. I'll never forget it. In the darkness of our hut, while we were all lying in bed, my fellow platoon members finally showed their support: "Way to go, Ramirez. " I was so choked up. I was going to make it. I think I had problems with drill because I had trouble concentrating on the commands.
Living there was like a holiday every day. It was an enormous old house, not quite your typical Victorian, that sat high off ground level with cement steps about ten feet wide and six to eight feet high. My cousins and I used to play and hang out on those steps. My dad said my grandmother bought and paid for the Spruce Street house herself with a little help from him and his brother Andy. She worked at a cannery for many years. Refufio, her husband, was a cruel and selfish man who worked but kept his money for his liquor and gambling.
Many things had changed, but some things never do. When he first returned from the war, he decided to try some field work. He hated it. He had never worked so hard for so little money, and he disliked the transient lifestyle altogether. After returning to Redwood City, he went back to working in the cannery and tannery. If I pressed my dad for more of how he felt about the discrimination he experienced, he was always careful not to sound like he was complaining or whining. To my dad, racial prejudice is a fact of life.
A Patriot After All: The Story of a Chicano Vietnam Vet by Juan Ramirez