Countless Latino families are proud of their long histories of defending and sacrificing for their country in the Armed Services. The Chavezes are no exception.
Cesar Chavez grew up with two cousins, Rudolph G. Rico and Lawrence Horta, who died in Europe serving in combat with the U.S. Army during World War II. Cesar's’ brother-in-law, Guillermo Fabela, fought with the 101st Airborne Division, from Normandy to the Battle of the Bulge, and was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts. Cesar volunteered for the U.S. Navy just after the war, and served honorably from 1946 to 1948.
Like many other Latino veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam and conflicts as recent as Afghanistan, Cesar Chavez returned home from the service determined to see that the country for which he sacrificed lived up to its promise of equality and freedom.