By Juan Ramirez
Juan Ramirez regularly believed he might die in Vietnam. As growing to be up within the San Francisco zone within the early Nineteen 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 conflict II, one other uncle in Korea. quite a few cousins had enlisted. At nineteen, Ramirez made up our minds to include the warfare. In 1968, the yr of the Tet offensive, Ramirez joined the U.S. marines. bloody excursions later, Ramirez survived, yet at significant price. two times wounded, undesirably discharged, and laid low with 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 rarely heard from the battle, that of a Chicano soldier. by way of tracing his roots, and exploring the cultural pressures and social demons that weighed on his family members and group, Ramirez deals an unflinching examine the autumn and redemption of 1 Mexican American veteran.
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Additional info for A Patriot After All: The Story of a Chicano Vietnam Vet
She was in and out of jail and programs and halfway houses and was homeless at times. Her mother, my aunt Teresa, died from alcoholism at age thirty-nine when Ivy was only twenty. My cousin was lost and lonely for many years. The relationship I had with Mama was quite different from Ivy's. I am eternally grateful yet somewhat guilt ridden about this contrast. It is only now, some thirty years after Grandma Ramirez's death, that I am able to accept both realities. Mama made me feel like I was special and worthwhile.
Actually all the Bautista women talk about their mother with a combination of fear, resentment, and respect but with little fondness or love. As a child I knew Angelita as my grandmother and thought of her in this way for many years, even after I was told the truth. I best remember her as someone who was, at least in her later years, very overweight, huge to us. Her size was like her presence in the family, much like a huge dark cloud of fear. I did feel love from her, but it was scarce and hard to hold on to.
Besides names like maggots and scum, he called us ladies and girls as if this were some Page 28 kind of an insult. He said after he got through with us, we eighty individuals would be transformed into one single-minded unit. This unit would make one single sound when marching, not two or three, but one sound. He told us what our physical training, or PT, regimen was and how rigorous it would be. At that moment I could not help but smile. I was not scared or intimidated by the threats of hard physical work.
A Patriot After All: The Story of a Chicano Vietnam Vet by Juan Ramirez