Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Technician Fifth Grade Henry Cesar Villa

Henry was disappointed that he was not adopted by mom. Don't know why he thought she was going to be his parent; no idea how he had come to that conclusion. I think he was a bit of an optimist.

Another dream fell apart for him in his senior year of high school. The U.S. Army contacted the Mexican Embassy and learned a birthdate that was unknown to all of his family members. It turns out that he was a year older than everyone thought.

He was drafted before he could enlist. I have the letter which he wrote to the powers that be requesting permission to stay in school. His dream was that would graduate and then join the Air Force. The letter is written in the vernacular of the 40s and is filled with embittered hope.

His request was denied. He was drafted into the Army of his adopted country; the land he loved and wanted to protect.

I have the telegraph that came to my grandparents' home on November 17th, two weeks after he died from "wounds received in action".

This October I went to Rose Lawn Cemetery in Pueblo, CO to visit Uncle Henry's grave. James and I couldn't find a gravestone for him. Instead there were markers that were illegible which seemed to be strewn about the area where Uncle Henry and other young veterans were supposed to buried. There were areas where I had to watch my step because the ground gave way under my feet.

I am afraid that my Uncle Henry and other young men who served in the war are buried in this area. It hardly seems the right way to honor those who felt they were protecting their country and died while doing so.


  1. I wonder if anything can be done. It's not right at all.

  2. I'm sure something can, and will, be done. I don't know how common or uncommon it is to have this sort of thing happen to veterans buried in non-VA Cemeteries. I don't know if this is unique to this cemetery. After the holidays I will learn more.
    As far as my Uncle Henry is concerned, there are many things to be learned through his tragic life and death.