Vietnamese Jewelry Box


The following item is a hand painted jewelry box from a merchant in Vietnam. The box was purchased by my grandfather, Master Sergeant Carlos Jose Mena, a second generation American. Mena was the son of Mexican immigrants fleeing the border to escape the wrath of Pancho Villa after the Mexican Revolution, but soon found himself orphaned at the age of 10. He enlisted in the navy at 17 during World War II, and was honorably discharged shortly after. He later enlisted in the army, and was sent to Vietnam for the duration of the Vietnam War. It was during this time that he purchased the box in a small shop as gift for his wife, who had just given birth to their first born child Carlos Mena II. Today the box can be found sitting on Mr. Mena’s desk at the real estate company he founded in El Paso Tx, and has worked at for 30 years. 

Place(s): San Antonio, El Paso, Vietnam

– Nicolas Carlos McKay

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more