Chief Petty Officer Manuel Ray Perez (1920-2003) was a D-Day hero


Twenty-something New Mexico native Manuel Ray Perez had already been honorably discharged by the U.S. Army, but after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that started World War II, he knew he had to get back in the fight.

That determination, and a toss of the coin, put him on Omaha Beach, Normandy, Nazi-occupied France, on D-Day, 78 years ago today.

OFFICIAL DEFENSE DEPARTMENT BIOGRAPHY:

He was a yeoman on “Easy Red” sector of Omaha Beach with the 6th Beach Battalion — bullets screaming past him and hitting buddies and strangers all around during the Invasion of Normandy. And he was there because all he won a coin toss.

Mas…Chief Petty Officer Manuel Ray Perez (1920-2003) was a D-Day hero

R.I.P. Senator John McCain (toon)


Do not despair of our present difficulties. We believe always in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here. Americans never quit. We never surrender. We never hide from history. We make history. — John McCain’s last message to America.

The History of Mexico’s Fastest Mouse, Speedy Gonzales (video)

Young Speedy

Our hero Speedy Gonzales, Mexico’s fastest mouse, gets a simplistic but interesting bio in this short video. It’s cool to see the initial cartoon version of the rascally rodent (photo), and his later pairings with Daffy Duck. And the quick coverage of the “offensive stereotype” issue gives us this great screencap of Warner Bros’ Official Cover My Ass Statement:

Mas…The History of Mexico’s Fastest Mouse, Speedy Gonzales (video)

POCHO Salute: USMC Lance Corporal Emilio Albert De La Garza, Jr.

Delagarza_EAEmilio Albert De La Garza, Jr. (June 23, 1949 – April 11, 1970) was a United States Marine who was posthumously presented the nation’s highest military honor — the Medal of Honor — for his heroism on April 11, 1970 in Vietnam.

Early years

Emilio Albert De La Garza, Jr. was born on June 23, 1949, in East Chicago, Indiana. He graduated from E.C. Washington High School in 1968. He was married to Rosemary Rejon and they have a daughter Renee (Lugo). He was employed by Inland Steel Company in East Chicago (Indiana Harbor), Indiana, before enlisting in the Marine Corps.

Marine Corps service

De La Garza enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on February 4, 1969, in Chicago, Illinois. He received recruit training with the 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, Recruit Training Regiment at the MCRD San Diego, California.

Mas…POCHO Salute: USMC Lance Corporal Emilio Albert De La Garza, Jr.

My SUNY Senior Thesis: Ritchie Valens and the Creation of Chicano Rock

ritchiestamp640[Editor's Note: When we shared our Happy Birthday Ritchie Valens story on Facebook last Friday, FB user Danna Carina commented, "Ritchie was the subject of my senior thesis and I graduated with my Bachelors yesterday ON HIS BIRTHDAY. Good omen I suppose!"

We wanted to see what she wrote, and to share it with you.

She agreed, and noted, "Writing this paper was a very intimate and intellectual experience, so it makes me very happy to share it with Pocho.com and the Chicano community."

Thank you, Danna Carina, and congratulations on your graduation from SUNY Purchase.]

Mas…My SUNY Senior Thesis: Ritchie Valens and the Creation of Chicano Rock

Hero, Marine: Private First Class Eugene Arnold Obregon (1930-1950)

obregonA son of Los Angeles, Eugene Obregon was only 19 when he died in Korea.

From Wikipedia:

Eugene Arnold Obregon (November 12, 1930 – September 26, 1950) was a United States Marine who was posthumously awarded the United States’ highest military decoration for valor — the Medal of Honor — for sacrificing his life to save that of a wounded comrade during the Second Battle of Seoul.

On September 26, 1950, Private First Class Obregon was fatally wounded by enemy machine gun fire while using his body to shield a wounded fellow Marine.Eugene Arnold Obregon (November 12, 1930 – September 26, 1950) was a United States Marine who was posthumously awarded the United States’ highest military decoration for valor — the Medal of Honor — for sacrificing his life to save that of a wounded comrade during the Second Battle of Seoul.

Mas…Hero, Marine: Private First Class Eugene Arnold Obregon (1930-1950)

Memorial Day: In 1918, this Latino war hero swam until he died

barkleyHe was only 19 when he died in 1918, a kid who would become America’s first Latino Medal of Honor Recipient.

His posthumous Medal of Honor for heroism came in 1919, but his acknowledgement as a Latino had to wait until 1989.

Wikipedia explains:

David Bennes Barkley was born March 31, 1899 in Laredo in Webb County in south Texas, to Josef and the former Antonia Cantú.

He grew up with his Mexican-American mother. He enlisted in the Army when the United States entered what was then known as the Great War.

He used his Anglo father’s name to avoid being segregated into a non-combat unit.

Mas…Memorial Day: In 1918, this Latino war hero swam until he died

Marina’s Way: A Cyber-Novela [Chapter One]

2marina900Marina is exhausted but exhilarated. Her entrails are convulsing violently as she pumps hundreds of rounds into the hordes of CSA Minutemen coming at her from all sides. After two sleepless nights of hard battle, she can barely hold onto the trigger, which is a throttle gyrating wildly in her hands.

She is emptying magazines from eight different machine guns placed strategically on the exoskeleton of her BattleBot or “Bot.” Bots are oversized suits of armor, equipped with lasers, machine guns, rocket launchers, grenades, poison gas canisters and other weapons systems.

Bots are operated by specialized Bot Pilots working deep inside the steel behemoths, which weigh thousands of pounds and stand five stories high. BattleBots were secretly developed by the U.S. Army and were now widely used by armies around the world.

“Incoming,” squawks Marina’s radar. “Shit! Some pinche vendido traitor ratted us out,” Marina hisses into her headset as fighter jets roar overhead and the forest explodes all around her.

Mas…Marina’s Way: A Cyber-Novela [Chapter One]

Controversial magazine cover photos? Ask Oprah! (photo)

ocoverOf course we are sensitive to the complaints from Beantown (they’re beaners after all) about Rolling Stone’s decision to make controversial Caucasian-American Dzhokhar Tsarnaev their glamorous cover boy.

But as recovering ñewspeeps ourselves, we have to point out that the accused terrorist isn’t the first villain to make it to the cover of a slick zine:

  • Mass-murdering terrorist Osama bin Laden was featured on the cover of Time with nary a protest.
  • Pedophile-junkie Michael Jackson has been on every magazine cover everywhere and there are no crowds of moonwalkers with picket signs.
  • Few heads were turned when serial bankrupter and ignorant liar Donald J. Trump graced Modern Toupee (his issue was the second-biggest seller after the Sen. Rand Paul cover.)

And there was no outrage when Oprah Winfrey put these two masterdeporters on the cover of O magazine in March of 2012.

We have to confess, though. POCHO’s biggest dream is to get banned in Boston.