"They can't draft you," his father told the young man on the day he
got his draft notice. After a long pause he continued, "You see, I am not your real
father. Your parents died when you were a baby, and when you were 18 months old a
relative brought you across the border from Mexico and asked me to raise you here where
you would have greater opportunity." After another long pause for the words to
sink in he said, "No son, they can't draft you. You are not an
American citizen...you are a Mexican National."
Determined not to "have someone else die in my place", he
enlisted anyway. Sent to Europe, he began studying to become an American citizen
while serving on the battlefield. Then, in Italy, his platoon was pinned down by an
enemy machinegun protected by a mine field. Courageously, the brave immigrant
attacked alone, to save the lives of his American buddies. Lying in the middle of
that minefield, both legs blown off at the knees, he ignored his pain and the loss of
blood to rise up on the broken stumps of his legs and continue to return fire on the
enemy. His incredible fighting spirit allowed the rest of his men to withdraw, then
circle and eliminate the enemy position.