I honor of Veteran’s Day, 2014, I am posting some proud Collazo family history.
Gerardo and Manuelita Collazo had ten sons and one daughter, and the family all lived in Laredo, Texas. Our extended family is derived from this family.
Now, during World War II, they had 3 sons serving overseas at the same time. Uncle Pete (Tio Pedro) and Uncle Rodolfo (Tio Fito), were both in the Army; and Uncle Ignacio (Tio Nacho), was in the Navy. Towards the end of WWII, Uncle Luis Manuel (Tio Meme) served in the 2nd Infantry, Army detaining Japanese POWs. Uncle George (Tio Choche) was in the Navy, AND in the Air Force (not at the same time but in back-to-back tours). Uncle Raul (Tio Rule’) was in the Air Force before Vietnam. Uncle Oscar was in the Navy during Vietnam. Uncle Fernando (Tio Nando) was in the Air Force.
I remember Tio Nando during his time of active duty that we went to see him at Lackland AFB; he was the MP (Military Police) on duty at the gate, with the most perfect saluting I ever saw!
The daughter born to Gerardo and Manuelita, our Aunt Trine, was married to an Air Force Airman during WW II, our Uncle Oscar T. Medina, so we want to salute him on this day. An interesting quote from Cousin Jesse Medina who stated that his Dad, Tio Oscar, had it rough during the war since he never left the States and was stationed in Florida!
A big salute to our Tio Oscar Collazo, who is the uncle who we would affectionately call our Collazo Submarine Man. You see our Uncle Oscar served in the Navy as a Chief Non-Commission Officer in a nuclear submarine… very specifically, he was the “Chief of the Boat” of the USS Mariano G. Vallejo, and actually is a “Plankholder” of that submarine which means he was on the original crew when it was commissioned. A special prayer please for Tio Oscar, as he is ill at the moment.
A big salute also this Veterans Day to our Cousin Christopher Collazo, son of Romeo and Sharon Collazo, and Grandson of Uncle Oscar, who is active duty US Navy, and (I believe) is doing active duty on a submarine at this moment! Talk about being Navy Proud! Our very own second-generation Collazo Submarine Man! Chris, guess you know you have big shoes to follow…in the footsteps and legacy of Great Collazo Military Men! A special prayer for Cousin Chris, please.
Now to show that the Collazo Family military tradition continues, we want to also salute all the Collazo Veterans, as well as the Collazo-related family Veterans that have served: My dear brother, William Collazo, Army Physician; Tio Nacho’s Son, Cousin Orlando Collazo, Navy; Tio Joe and Daughter, Cousin Joe Collazo, Jr., Navy, and Cousin Diana’s husband, Gilbert Shely, Air Force; Tio Pedro’s Sons, Cousin Pete Collazo, Jr, Army, and Cousin Javier Collazo, Army; Tio Fito’s Sons, Cousin Rodolfo Collazo, Jr., Marine Corps, and Cousin Pablo Rene Collazo, Navy; Tio Meme’s Son, Cousin Luis George (Choche), Navy, and Choche’s son, Luis Rogelio Collazo, Marine Corps; Cousin Gina’s Son, Geronimo Villarreal, Marine Corps; Cousin Yolanda’s Son, Fabian Mendoza, III, Army. Last, but not least, this writer, Bob Collazo, Jr., is a proud Army Veteran, who most people do not know, served in the Army during the Vietnam war, but never made it out of Texas.
Active Duty: I would like to send out a big salute to our Cousin Yolanda’s husband, our very own home-grown, active duty Army Colonel Fabian Mendoza! Cousin Yolanda and Fabian’s Son-in-law, and Cousin Michelle’s husband, Scott Miroddi, is an Army veteran, and we salute him today.
I would also like to mention and honor family members on my maternal side of the family. My Tio, Ernesto (Neto) Elizondo, was my Mother’s Beloved Brother, and proudly served in the US Navy during WW II. Also, my Tio Neto’s Son, Ernesto Elizondo, Jr., served in the US Air Force back in the 1970s. My maternal grandfather, Francisco Elizondo, had two brothers, Margarito, and Jose, that were on active duty during WWII…in fact, Tio Jose was in Iwo Jima, and saw the raising of the flag there! We proudly salute them today.
Bottom line – We salute all family Veterans today and send them warm regards!
Certainly, with our big family, the Collazo and Family Military legend continues…
Happy Veteran’s Day!
Bob Collazo, Jr.
(Tio = Uncle)