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

By Juan Ramirez

Juan Ramirez constantly believed he may die in Vietnam. As becoming up within the San Francisco quarter within the early Sixties, "Nam was once there, simply over the horizon, just like the far away thump of artillery. His father and uncles had served in global battle II, one other uncle in Korea. a number of cousins had enlisted. At nineteen, Ramirez made up our minds to embody the conflict. In 1968, the 12 months of the Tet offensive, Ramirez joined the U.S. marines. bloody excursions later, Ramirez survived, yet at monstrous rate. two times wounded, undesirably discharged, and stricken by survivor's guilt, Ramirez surveys the toll of Vietnam on flesh and spirit during this fascinating memoir. Ramirez tells his tale in a voice rarely heard from the warfare, that of a Chicano soldier. via tracing his roots, and exploring the cultural pressures and social demons that weighed on his family members and neighborhood, Ramirez deals an unflinching examine the autumn and redemption of 1 Mexican American veteran.

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P. cm. ISBN 0-8263-1958-0 (cloth).  Ramirez, Juan, 1949- .  Mexican American soldiers Vietnam.  Title. 704'3372 dc21 98-46679 CIP Page v Contents Acknowledgments vii A Dedication ix Part I Before Chapter 1 Family 3 Chapter 2 Boot Camp 27 Part II During Chapter 3 War Stories 41 Chapter 4 Quang Nam Province, Vietnam, January 1969 49 Chapter 5 Ambushed 59 Chapter 6 3/3 69 Chapter 7 Christmas, 1969 88 Chapter 8 Second Tour 97 Part III After Chapter 9 Back in the World, 1971 129 Chapter 10 Road Home 152 Epilogue 178 Page vii ACKNOWLEDGMENTS When I first wrote this book in 1986, I did not do it intending to write a book.

We were what they call jocks, and we were bullies. My family moved into another new house around that time, too. After living on Spring Street for eight years, our family had grown to five children. Paco, the youngest, was about two years old when Grandma died. Dinora was two years older than Paco, and Joey, who was born deaf, was a year or so older than Dinora. Evie was the next oldest (and my chief rival for my father's attention). My dad was still making rapid advancements at his work. He was very ambitious and hardworking.

We had no property, no money, and we were hungry all the time. What kind of life is that? " And she never did. My father felt pride and shame for what he was. He resented the fact that he was treated differently, and he often confused being Mexican with not being good enough. He used this barrier to drive and motivate himself to be accepted as an equal. I think my father hated who he was because he thought he was a "sellout" who aspired to be and to have what the whites had. My mother is much the same except she takes the issue of race one step further and twists it with the belief that Mexican people and "our ways" are superior.

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