Before I start, I just have to say happy first anniversary to my blog. I was so surprised that it had been a year since I had started writing it. I have made friends and relatives that I would never have met if it weren’t for this blog and I have enjoyed it immensely. I look forward to the coming year and getting to know more of our ancestors.
It fills me with pride to bring you our family Veteran’s post 2014.
We thank each and every veteran from the bottom of our hearts for your service, sacrifice and we salute you!
Timothy Celestino Jacques – WWII
In 1942, Timothy enlisted at the age of 15 into the Merchant Marines with his mother’s permission. I don’t know about anyone else but I have a tough time letting my teen son go to the store alone, so Tonita must have been terrified and yet confident at the same time. Of course, my dad would say he was already grown at the age of 15.
This is one of the training schools he attended. As you can see, he was at the top of his class. Dad said his brothers and his brother in law Sam Saiz taught him everything about being a mechanic.
After the Merchant Marines, he joined the Army. He went through basic then traveled to Japan and Australia. He was undecided when his last tour was up if he would re-sign or if he would return to his home in Stockton. He finally decided to leave the army and the following month the unit he had been with left for Korea. Thanks, Daddy, for your service.
Gregory L. Quintana – Vietnam
My father and Greg’s mother, Viola Springall, were double first cousins. Most of the people on my tree that I talk about are deceased. However, I really wanted to include Greg. He served from 1966 to 1971 in the United States Air Force and was in Vietnam in 1968. I am glad you are not just a leaf on our tree and that we can say, “Thank you for your Service.”
Valentin Archuleta – WWII
He and my father were also double first cousins (and a brother to Viola). He, too, served in WWII. This article is from the Farmington Times and was published on August 21, 2009.
FARMINGTON — Telesforo “Archie” Archuleta was a survivor. But to his family and friends, he also was a hero.
The Blanco resident witnessed some of history’s most famous and horrific events.
He not only survived the Battle of Bataan, the Bataan Death March and 40 months as a prisoner of war of the Japanese army during World War II, but he helped others to survive.
Archuleta, 94, died peacefully Thursday at home in Blanco.
Born on Nov. 5, 1914, Archuleta was raised on a ranch in Blanco.
His mother died when he was 14 years old and he left school to care for his younger siblings.
Archuleta entered the U.S. Army on Nov. 21, 1941, and was assigned to Battery G 200th Coast Artillery, as part of the Asiatic Pacific Theater.
He was a member of a Coast Artillery gun crew and received two campaign stars for operations in the Pacific theater.
He was captured by the Japanese during the three-month Battle of Bataan and became a prisoner of war.
Archuleta was forced to march 60 miles along the peninsula to prison camps during The Bataan Death March in 1942.
He was sent on a “hell ship” from the Philippines to Japan to mine ore and coal for the Japanese war effort because he was one of the stronger prisoners.
Approximately 75,000 American and Filipino prisoners of war captured by the Japanese were forced to march.
The article continues
Approximately 1,800 men from New Mexico were sent to the Philippines and 900 survived the battle for Bataan, the death march and the months spent in prisoner of war camps.
“He survived because
he said he had to keep
the younger boys alive,” Archuleta’s daughter Caroline Poore said.
Archuleta returned from the war in 1945.
When his sisters went to The Presidio in San Francisco after Archuleta arrived on a ship, they couldn’t find him even though officials ensured them he was there.
“He was so decimated and sick, they didn’t recognize their own brother,” Poore said. A man who averaged 150 to 160 pounds only weighed 78 pounds when he was rescued.
Archuleta recuperated enough to come home to Blanco and marry Tonita Archuleta on Dec. 3, 1945, before he was sent to a hospital in San Antonio to continue his recovery.
He suffered hearing loss from continued beatings to his head and balance problems, Poore said. He dealt with starvation and suffered every disease from dysentery to malaria while a POW.
He never spoke of his time in the prison camp or about the horrors he witnessed during the war.
It wasn’t until years later that his family learned about his heroic efforts.
Charlie Sanchez, a fellow POW, told the family on Archuleta’s 50th wedding anniversary, how his life was saved on the hell ship.
The ships were packed so tightly and there was no air, water or food. If a man slipped and fell down, he would get suffocated, Poore said.
“Dad tied (Sanchez’s) belt to his own and held him up throughout the trip,” Poore said.
Poore and her sister, Erlinda Miller, recalled another story of Archuleta helping another prisoner.
Many of the men who worked in the mines didn’t have shoes. Often they would suffer from frostbite and gangrene and eventually die.
Archuleta would weather proof his shoes with ball joint grease and, as he walked out of the mines, he would slip his shoes to fellow prisoner Pat Boone, who didn’t have any, Poore said
He kept the stories to himself, his daughters said.
“One summer, when we were kids and complaining about what we were eating, my father slammed his hands on the table making the plates jump,” Miller said.
“Listen here,’ my dad said, if you ever had to eat a rat, you would never complain about what you had to eat,'” Miller said.
Archuleta returned a quiet man who had high morals and standards, his daughter said.
“He was a very strong person and a very strong willed person,” Poore said. “He always worked hard his whole life.”
Now that is an amazing story and I am so proud to have that person on my tree. Thank you for your service.
Onofre Reyes Jaquez WWI
Onofre Reyes Jaquez trained at Camp Kearny in San Diego, CA and also trained in Camp Funston in Junction City, Kansas. Thank you for your service.
Jobe Douglas Hardin – American Civil War
Job Hardin is a brother to Ambers Hardin, who was my grandfather Charles Hardin’s great uncle. He served in the 40th Alabama Regiment as a Private in Company K and participated in the Battle of Vicksburg. Thank you for your service.
Peter Dunkin – Revolutionary War
Peter Dunkin is a grandfather to Mary Elizabeth Dunkin and a great-great grandfather to Charles Hardin. He served in the 10th Regiment of Sargent Sharp’s Company. Thank you for your service.
This is just the tip of the ice berg. There are many heroes who sacrificed their time and in some cases their lives to continue the way of life that we have carved out, one day at a time. To the many women and men who have served more recently, please stay safe and Thank you for your service.