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My Family Military Legacy

November 9th, 2018 Leave a comment Go to comments

In honor of Veteran’s Day, 2018, I am posting some proud Collazo & Elizondo family history.

Gerardo and Manuelita Collazo had ten sons and one daughter, and the family all lived in Laredo, Texas. Our extended family around the world 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. Proudly today, we remember all of of them, but especially, we remember our own Uncle Raul, the last surviving first generation Son, who is still with us and still going strong!

One of my fondest memories as a kid growing up in San Antonio, I clearly still recall my Tio Fernando Collazo during his time of active duty when we would go see him at Lackland AFB. He was the MP (Military Police) on duty at the gate, with the most perfect saluting I ever saw! A big salute in Heaven to him!

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 in heaven to our beloved Tio Oscar Collazo, who was 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 big salute this Veterans Day to our Cousin Christopher Collazo, son of Romeo and Sharon Collazo, and Grandson of Uncle Oscar, who just came off of active duty this year from the US Navy. Chris was stationed on a submarine just like his Grandpa, Oscar! He is still our very own second-generation Collazo Submarine Man! Thank-you for your years of service, Chris!

Now to show that the Collazo Family military tradition continues, we want to also salute all the Collazo Veterans, as well as our extended family, Collazo-related family Veterans that have served: My dear brother, William Collazo, Army Physician; Tio Ignacio’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. I would like to send out a big salute to our Cousin Yolanda’s husband, our very own home-grown, retired from active duty, Army Colonel Fabian Mendoza! Cousin Yolanda and Fabian’s Son-in-law, and Cousin Michelle Miroddi’s husband, Scott Miroddi, is an Army veteran, and we salute him also today. I also want to send a big salute to Chris Tipton, who is a US Naval Academy graduate, who served our country well. Chris is married to my Niece, Christina Collazo, daughter of my dear brother, Bill Collazo. Lastly, this writer, Bob Collazo, Jr., is a proud US Army Veteran, who most people do not know, served in the US Army during the Vietnam war, but was stationed in El Paso, Texas, where his Son, Rob was born.

I would also like to honor family members on my maternal, Elizondo side of my family. My Tio, Ernesto Elizondo, was my Mother’s Beloved Brother, and proudly served in the US Navy during WW II. Also, I want to honor & recognize my Cousin, Ernesto Elizondo, Jr., who served in the US Air Force back in the 1970s, and is a disabled Veteran because of his service to our Country. I also want to recognize & honor David Gonzalez, US Marines, Son of my Cousin, Raquel Velazquez, and Servando Pena, US Army, my Cousin, Mary Pena’s husband. Lastly, my maternal grandfather, Francisco Elizondo, had two brothers who served, Margarito, and Jose Efrain, that were on active duty during WWII. In fact, my Tio Efrain Elizondo was in Iwo Jima, and saw the raising of the flag there! I believe he turned 92 this year, and we salute him today!

We proudly 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.

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