Advertisement

Archive for Thursday, July 5, 2007

Mexican-American family takes pride in strong military tradition

I think our family really represents what this country is about’

July 5, 2007

Advertisement

Reader poll
How did you celebrate the Fourth of July?

or See the results without voting

Ralph, center, and Ermie Gauna talk with Sam Pacheco, foreground, and their family Wednesday during the Pacheco family reunion in Lawrence. The family has a long tradition of military service, including a Marine who might be deployed to Iraq. Ralph Gauna and Sam Pacheco served in the Marines and Army, respectively.

Ralph, center, and Ermie Gauna talk with Sam Pacheco, foreground, and their family Wednesday during the Pacheco family reunion in Lawrence. The family has a long tradition of military service, including a Marine who might be deployed to Iraq. Ralph Gauna and Sam Pacheco served in the Marines and Army, respectively.

Local family hosts annual family reunion

Before the weather turned, one Lawrence family spent their Independence Day celebrating America's freedom - and the people who defend it. Enlarge video

Kitty Pacheco draped flags over her back porch - a symbol of the deep vein of patriotism that runs through her family.

"We have nearly 200 years of (combined) military service in our family," she said.

For Pacheco, the Fourth of July is a time not only to gather with family and friends, but also to celebrate a long line of service to the country. The holiday drew 50 people to the Pachecos' Lawrence home on Wednesday.

"I think our family really represents what this country is about," said Sara Pacheco of Ottawa, a corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps and Kitty Pacheco's grandniece. "Our family has pretty much fought for everything we have and everything we do."

Kitty and her husband, Jess Pacheco, are first-generation Americans whose families both moved to the U.S. from Mexico.

Jess Pacheco spent 32 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, serving in World War II, Korea and Vietnam and retiring as sergeant major. He stands with a straight posture. His voice carries easily.

"He's sergeant major drill instructor through and through," grandson John Engel Jr. said. "You can hear his voice before you see him."

Pacheco served three tours in Vietnam before being wounded.

"I didn't want to retire," he said. "It was my way of life. When you become a professional Marine or a professional soldier, it's just something that you live with and something that you do."

Brother John Pacheco of Ottawa served 20 years in the Marine Corps, retiring as gunnery sergeant.

"I miss 'em," he said of his years of service. "I have dreams about them."

Now as the younger generations grow, some follow the same path.

Sara Pacheco awaits a likely call to serve in Iraq.

"The only thing I can say is God bless them, Godspeed," Jess Pacheco said of soldiers fighting today. "You're just proud of them."

Comments

oxandale 6 years, 9 months ago

Since his heritages is from Central/South America, puttting the word "american" is sensless since...well...he is an AMERICAN..hence south AMERICA or central AMERCIA!!.

0

bearded_gnome 6 years, 9 months ago

God bless these fine marines and their noble family that sent them, regardless of their ethnicity!

the current scourge of illegal immigration stigmatizes good law abiding americans such as these. when the prop in ariz outlawing all social services to illegals passed overwhelmingly, among hispanics the vote in favor was nearly %50...yes that means it nearly passed just among the hispanics. that's because the hard working and legal mexican american citizens who do it right hate the picture being painted of them by the illegals in their invasion.

happy fourth, in retro and god keep you marine if you are indeed sent to Iraq, I'll be praying for your safe return.

0

MyName 6 years, 9 months ago

They should be offended by the devisive and racist title of this article. Would we see "Swedish -American or German- American, or Italian-Am etc Family Takes Pride in Strong Military Tradition"?

This comment is stupid. I think we would see those headlines if the people you are talking about are first generation Americans and are proud of that fact (as most immigrants are). It's not wrong to point out where a person came from unless you are clearly doing so in a disparaging manner. I fail to see how any reasonable person can make such a claim about this article unless in that person's mind the word "Mexican" always means something negative.

I will agree that being an American is more about values than national origin, but it's stupid to make the claim that, unless you automatically ignore where someone came from, you're guilty of racism or bigotry. It's just as important to remember where we came as where we are today.

0

Kontum1972 6 years, 9 months ago

lol...if the SGM were really offended you would know it....so why would he waste his time or energy....on the media...they always get it wrong....LoL....my grand parents gave five of their sons to ww2... I and four of my cousins were 'Nam vets...marines and army....the US should treat their vets like the russians do...they move the front of the line for everything..medical, food, housing...etc., we don't get crap..we vets should be getting a check from the govt every month for our service till our deaths....so all of u non-combatants can BBQ everyday....freedom is not free...your MILITARY VETS.... give it to you.....HuWah.....(right now somebody is dying in iraq) ...THINK ABOUT IT...esp when u get behind the wheel and start your vehicle .........i hope u read the article about the young Marine with the sniper wound....this young man is jacked up for life....get in his shoes.....now think about the other 100K+ over in iraq right now! .....ALL VETS SHOULD BE OFFENDED,,NOT JUST THE SGM.. NUFF SAID!

0

Kam_Fong_as_Chin_Ho 6 years, 9 months ago

They should be offended by the devisive and racist title of this article.

Agreed. It is politically incorrect to make any reference to ethnicity. From now on, St. Patrick's Day will be celebrated by "Americans", Kwaanza will be celebrated by "Americans", Oktoberfest celebrations in the US will be celebrated by "Americans." We don't want to offend anyone.

Any references to gender should also be dismissed. From now on, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts will be referred to as "Person Scouts."

0

ljreader 6 years, 9 months ago

They should be offended by the devisive and racist title of this article. Would we see "Swedish -American or German- American, or Italian-Am etc Family Takes Pride in Strong Military Tradition"? Like I said when this paper printed the racist story about the Mexican- American firefighter, ALL Americans should be commended for their service to others.. Thank them for being great AMERICANS. I don't think their bloodline has crap to do with it.

0

onrywmn 6 years, 9 months ago

Thank you for your family's sacrifices for our country. Your family does represent what this country is all about, and I appreciate it. God bless you.

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.