I worked with my late father, Juan Antonio Z. Rosales, from 1980 to 1985 as metal lathers in construction work all over the state of Texas. I would listen to him talk about being born in 1916 and growing up during the Great Depression when Mexican Americans were hated by the whites in Pharr and all over the nation.
My dad and my four uncles were drafted during World War II and proudly served and all of them came back to my grandma Getrudis’ home. My dad told me that when he was at basic training in South Carolina a white guy would constantly berate him and make remarks, calling him a dirty Mexican.
During the invasion of Normandy, my dad told me, the ocean water was full of blood and soldiers dead and floating upside down, some of them with their guts out. My dad was pinned down on the beach due to German machine-gun fire when all of a sudden that racist guy asked dad if they were buddies. My dad told him off in two words and the guy started crying for his mommy, while Dad and his fellow Chicano soldiers got up and charged ahead.
To this day I miss my dad, but I’m so proud to be a Mexican American berceuse our Raza is the best, hands down!
Ricardo Rosales Sr., Pharr