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Relationship: Child of im/migrant
Air assault mission training Colorado
Air assault mission training Colorado

 My Zoom picture is me in army fatigues on Chinook Helicopter, the ones with the two propellers on top. We were using it to move an artillery piece from one shooting area to another. I served for seven year, two enlistments and one tour in the U.S. Army. But I was born in a country where a certain population considers you an outsider, someone who does not belong. As a Mexican American, life was filled with crime and gangsters and I had to push myself outside of the group and I experienced stereotypes, racial profiling and discrimination from teachers, law enforcement and other adults.  I am a proud Hispanic by descent and a proud American by birth. My family is from Penjamillo, Michoacán in Mexico. I am the first generation born in the United States of America and to graduate high school. My parents moved to America, to pursue a better life for them and their kids. My mother moved here when she was 16 years of age opposed to my father, he moved when he was 8 years of age. Growing up my mother and my siblings would always flee back to Mexico and stay with my Abuela in her humble adobe house, there was even a mud floor. We fled due to Mexico again and again due to the abusive actions of my father. With all the marital issues they were facing, my mother and the rest of us stayed in Mexico for a period of 2 years at a time, I even started kinder and elementary school in Mexico.             I still remember my red uniform that I would wear and the shiny black shoes that would clink on the rocks in the road. All of this made me precious my past that has molded me into who I am today.            

Place(s): Afghanistan
Year: 2012

– Leonard Govea Baez

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant