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Well my Daddy has passed.  A child of the depression, a sailor in the big war and hard working tough,civil service master welder for the U.S Air Force. My Dad. As a small boy he was born into a large family on the Mexican side of San Antonio. Unfortunately for him his father was trapped on the Mexican side by Hoover's "Mexican Repatriation".  A legal immigrant and successful contractor/carpenter, his father was not allowed to return after visiting his eldest son in Mexico. This left his wife and 10 children at the mercy of the times.  Before long my father's mother declined and passed away from the heart ache of having ten children and no means of support. Her sister, our Nana took all ten children in and her husband supported them through the hard times. When she went to ask for some aid "the government" said "No aid, give them up to an orphanage". She refused to give her sister's children up.  Plus my Dad was my Nana's favorite, after she snatched him to be her son soon after his birth. You see she had no children and my grandmother had many.  That was the way things were done back then.

He went to school and struggled with English even though he was born in the good ol' U.S. of A.  San Antonio was very segregated then, so Spanish was the language of the family and of local business.  You could be born and die speaking only Spanish, San Antonio being a city established by Canary Islanders escaping the Spanish Inquisition. I remember how he said his Nana would read the comics to him in Spanish till he learn to read and saw she was not reading what was printed in the comic.
They all managed to get through hard times and were thankful when FDR ended the Hoover's Mexican Repatriation that deported countless of U.S. citizens to Mexico because of their Spanish surname.

In spite of this, when his country called, he quit school as signed up for the U.S. Navy. So off he went leaving a little girl who heart was thumping for him dearly.  She wrote him letters and dated other fellows in his absence but always her heart was for him.  When he returned he asked sleeping Nana, "What am I gonna do now I am out of the Navy?" Nana was napping but then opened her eyes patted his hand and said, "Don't worry, You are gonna marry Gloria.", and went back to sleep.  
So he married my Mom had a heap of kids and lived a full and very productive life.
He work for the U.S. Air Force as a civil service welder. He received many commendations for his work, Silver and Bronze awards for Zero Defects.
He worked very hard keeping the planes for the war efforts in Vietnam safe for our pilots.
Now while I am very anti-war and had many arguments with my Dad in my teens over that.  He did his part in making sure our Air Force was in tip top shape and at the same time put food on or table and clothes on our backs.
He was a member of the Greatest Generation.
I am going to bed now with a broken heart.

I miss him so very terribly.
My Dad, Juan Salazar.
ps. He was an Obama supporter and was going to vote for him a second time. My sister took him to get his ID current so he could vote.

 

Originally posted to TexMex on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 09:24 PM PDT.

Also republished by Genealogy and Family History Community.

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