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Jose Efrain Elizondo

September 16th, 2019 No comments

Jose was my dear Mom’s uncle, her Dad’s brother.
A World War II Veteran, a modest, and quiet man,
Who talked a little bit about being in Iwo Jima
But never discussed much more,
I found out later, many medals he wore.

He was a sharpshooter in the famous 147th “Lost Regiment”
Who fought bravely in combat alongside Marines,
Won the war, and came home a real trooper
Who kept it all inside to deal with life,
Three kids and a loving wife.

For nintety-five years
He lived life to the brim, yet quiet and reserved,
Died in his sleep, a quiet farewell.
Went to meet his maker, his God,
A quiet hero we salute today, who did his duty well.

————————————————————

I did some research on the 147th, my Uncle Joe was in, and found the following information, according to Google:

At the beginning of US involvement in World War II, the 147th became a “lost regiment” when it pulled out of the 37th Infantry Division to triangularize it in 1942. The regiment went to war in the South Pacific as an independent regiment, and fought in several battles alongside a greater number of United States Marine Corps troops. The 147th first engaged in combat during the Battle of Guadalcanal, where it took part in the assault on Mt. Austen.[2] During this battle, General Alexander Patch was forced to reorganize his forces due to combat losses, and created the CAM (Composite Army-Marine) Division, which consisted of the 147th Infantry Regiment, the 182nd Infantry Regiment, and the 6th Marine Regiment, along with artillery elements from the Americal Division and the 2nd Marine Division.[2] In early January 1943, I Company and a platoon of M Company cut off the Japanese escape routes along a 20-mile front while the CAM pushed the defenders back towards the western beach of Guadalcanal. Along the coast, the CAM Division began its attack at the same time with a three-regiment front: the 6th Marines on the beach, the 147th Infantry in the center, and the 182nd Infantry abreast of 25th Infantry Division on the left. Alternating the lead attack position, the 147th Infantry, the 182nd Infantry, and the 6th Marines progressed from one to three miles a day through weak resistance. By 8 February these units had reached Doma Cove, nine miles beyond the Poha River and the same distance short of Cape Esperance.[2] By 9 February 1943, the Americans had cleared the island, and the 147th moved on to its next assignment.

The regiment relieved the 4th Marines on Emirau Island[3] on 11 April 1944 and performed garrison duties until they were relieved by the 369th Infantry Regiment in June. While they were on Emirau, they assisted the US Navy Seabees in constructing an airfield, because the 147th was the only infantry regiment who’d constructed an airfield before (at Tonga in 1942). The regiment then moved to the island of Saipan in the wake of the first landings to conduct mopping up operations behind the 2nd Marine Division, the 4th Marine Division, and the 27th Infantry Division. The island was declared secure on 9 July 1944, but Japanese resistance continued for months afterward. The 147th next moved to the island of Tinian to follow elements of the 2nd and 4th Marine Divisions as they assaulted through the island. The 147th rooted out stubborn Japanese defenders and continued fighting after the island was officially declared secure on 1 August 1944.

The regiment’s next assignment would prove to be their most difficult; in the spring of 1945, the Ohioans fought in the Battle of Iwo Jima. In the early days of the Marine landings, the 147th was ordered to climb from landing craft with grappling hooks to scale a high ridge about 3/4 mile from Mount Suribachi. The mission was to fire on the enemy opposing the Marine landings on the beaches below.[4] They were soon pinned down by heavy Japanese fire, and engaged in non-stop fighting for 31 days. Once the island was declared secure, the regiment was ostensibly there to act as a garrison force, but they soon found themselves locked in a bitter struggle against thousands of stalwart defenders engaging in a last-ditch guerilla campaign to harass the Americans.[5] Using well-supplied caves and tunnel systems, the Japanese resisted American advances. For three months, the 147th slogged across the island, using flamethrowers, grenades, and satchel charges to dig out the enemy. Some sources credit the regiment with killing at least 6,000 Japanese soldiers in those anonymous and merciless small unit actions.[5] The 147th would go on to fight in the bloody Battle of Okinawa, once again in charge of rooting out stubborn Japanese defenders who remained even after the island was declared secure. Company D, which remained on the island of Tinian, earned the distinction of transporting and guarding the Little Boy atomic bomb.[6] When the war ended on 2 September 1945, the 147th Infantry was sent home piecemeal, and the last men to return home arrived in March 1946.[4]

During World War II, the 147th Infantry Regiment fought in the infamous battles of Guadalcanal, Saipan, Tinian, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. These battles are often associated with the US Marines, but no US unit other than the 147th fought in all of these battles.

Until I see you again, my Dear Uncle Joe, I salute your bravery!

Bob Collazo, 9/16/2019
www.robertcollazojr.com

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My Brother Bill’s Life

September 14th, 2019 No comments

He overcame a disability as a young sprout,
Never letting polio get in his way.
That he was the strong-willed one, there was no doubt.
The third of four sons complete,
When we all lived in a little house on 38th Street.

Overcoming a disability and adversity at an early age
Probably laid the cornerstone for what he does today.
For you see it was the late sixties when hispanic kids
Were supposed to work blue-collar jobs and the like,
Didn’t get too far in life.

Yet Bill married early; had a beautiful family,
Was not content to be mediocre, always striving,
College, med school, becoming a doctor, making us proud.
Then ten years in the Army serving our country all over,
Always striving to be the best in the crowd.

Well, thirty-something years later,
He is a respected cardiologist in his area
That’s my brother, the heart doctor, saving lives so sweet,
Making me think how far he’s come,
From that little house on 38th street.

I love you, Brother!
Bob Collazo, 9/14/2019

Click on link below to see Bill in front of that house
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In My Mother’s Shadow

August 2nd, 2019 No comments

Knowing my Mom is in the winter of her life, saddens me.
However She and Dad had prepared us all for this moment.
For they raised us to not only enjoy the good times,
But to prepare for the tough times up the road.
I see her holding on to life in bits and pieces,
Yet also reaching out to her next journey.

For She had told me the previous day that her “Sweetheart” was waiting for her.
My first reaction is that I’m sad.
But then realize and smile because like anyone who ever knew them,
I remember them laughing, dancing, doing everything together.
And so, isn’t this what life is all about?

Bob Collazo
2/20/19

I actually wrote this 8 days before my dear Mom passed to be with her only love…

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Elizabeth

February 10th, 2019 No comments

If you know Elizabeth,
You know she’s a loving wife, Mom,
A Grandmother, and a loving Daughter,
Who’s still close to her siblings, and of course, her Mom & Dad.
Very clearly, she cares deeply about her beautiful family.

What many people may not know is that Elizabeth is a fighter,
A tremendous bleeding heart for the needy,
Who will help the less-fortunate with their legal woes, their strife,
In the process drying their tears, quieting their fears,
Helping them get a much better start in life.

But now Elizabeth has taken on a much bigger role
One that she says came very clearly to her as a goal.
It was her Collazo Dad, who had passed but yet called
For her to care for our Mom, our heart & soul,
Giving us the sweetest gift overall.

Elizabeth, no words can quite express our family’s gratitude
for your loving care of our sweet Mom. Clearly, Dad is
smiling down upon you…with much love,

Bob Collazo,
2/10/19

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Was The Night Before Christmas – by Edward Collazo

December 25th, 2018 No comments

I am posting the following story composed by my Nephew, Edward Collazo. For those of you who don’t know him, he is my beloved nephew, who works as a Deputy Sheriff, I believe in Kendall County. Well, he composed the following take on the famous story, according to a Deputy officer in his squad. Hope you like it as much as I did, and just like the Angel in his story, I too am proud of this Deputy. Who would have guessed…an aspiring poet just like his uncle.

Was The Night Before Christmas

So, its the night before Christmas, and all through the County, not a person was stirring, except a Deputy on the street. As he quietly patrolled the county with great care and love, as children and parents slept peacefully there.

The deputy, clad in his brown and black uniform with his vest, his gun and his cowboy hat on, always looking his best. He’d just pulled aside for a quick bite to eat.

When all of a sudden, out on the street, A bright light appeared from out of nowhere. The deputy shielded his eyes from through the rear view came a brilliant glare. The deputy jumped out of his patrol car ready to draw down, just then he fell to his knees, for the glare was an angel of the Lord at the police cars rear.

The angel smiled and spoke, “Dear Deputy don’t fear, I’ve been sent by the Lord with a message for you. Jesus wants you to know, He loves you all. He’s pleased with the way you’ve answered His call. To protect and serve others, so selfless you’ve been, Your bravery and kindness have known no end. Even in tragedy, when nights became long, You’ve helped countless strangers by keeping God close to you, making you strong. God sees your heart, the joy and the pain, He knows the profession can often bring strain. So he sent me here to let you know, That as you patrol, He goes where you go. As you protect others, your Father protects you, His angels go with you, His Spirit does, too. No bullet too fast, no bad guy too strong, I’m sent to make sure that your life will be long. So fear not the night, and fear not the day, fear not the threats that might come your way.

The angel finished by saying, “I’m sent to accompany you on your shift, There’s not one moment you’re alone on the street.” The deputy sat stunned by the words the angel spoke, He bowed his head, with a tear, gave a nod. As the deputy said “thank you,” the angel took flight and said, “God’s got your back, carry on deputy and have goodnight.”

Edward Collazo
12/24/18

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My Family Military Legacy

November 9th, 2018 No 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.
11/11/18

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The Many Roads of My Life

March 3rd, 2018 No comments

Born in Laredo but moved when my brother got sick.
Then my Dad, Mom, Grandma and four brothers lived in Loma Park in San Antonio.
We spent our summers all day having fun and playing baseball
Until the street lights came on.
Best part is we were raised on a whole lot of love,
When life was simple and sweet on 38th street.

By the time I was at Holy Cross High,
I made friends there with new experiences to satisfy.
Then one year, Dad surprised me with an old car.
I worked hard after school and summers to help pay it back.
But with good friends and great times,
Life there was still simple but still a treat there on 38th street.

After Holy Cross, I went in the Army and started life’s run,
I married the love of my life,
Then came our beautiful Son.
Realized then that life was not that simple anymore;
But with a brand new little family at my side, I felt most complete.
Life there was a little more complicated but really good in that El Paso street.

After the military, I got into the USDA,
Where I started as a inspector.
However sometimes ambition or boredom took over and I would look for more,
Always trying to better myself, so we moved many times for different USDA jobs in 32 years.
But the exciting thing was the people we met along that yellow-brick road,
Which was the best part of the journey my family and I most sweetly rode.

Bob Collazo, 2/3/18

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My Cousin Jess

January 14th, 2018 No comments

Jess grew up an only child, with a chihuahua named Tiny.
Never lacking, and feeling like he had more than he could want,
He always had a bunch of cousins to play with nearby.
When I would spend summers there, in that Laredo heat,
I always recall his Mom & Dad, and much love at his home on Stewart Street.

Now Jess has always been methodical, logical, and true;
Even at an early age,
He would create a list for this or for that;
I know him now as the first environmentalist on the world stage,
For he would get after us for littering at an early age.

Recalling the four-track tape player in his ’64 Beige Chevy, and listening to great 60s music,
Maybe it was that that got him started on his musical journey.
For he was always practicing his guitar after that.
Then Jess played in a rock and roll band while in school.
Back in our teenage years…back when we all thought we were so cool.

Now Jess has had much success in life
Due to his constant striving to do his best.
A proud Aggie, with a sweet loving wife and son.
He’s still playing his guitar on his musical quest,
But now a much contented man, who’s is still just having fun.

I can’t believe the ride we’ve had, Primo!
Happy Birthday!
Bob, 1/14/18

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My Mother’s Youngest Son, Ed

August 16th, 2017 No comments

He is my mother’s youngest Son.
Always been a scrapper, a natural athlete,
He is the youngest of four sons.
Ed learned when at the table with his brothers
That we were thankful for our food and for everything we had in our life.

Grown up, Ed and Elizabeth raised a beautiful family,
Two Sons, and a beautiful daughter;
He was a teacher, an artist, and now loving grandpa.
For our Dad and Mom taught him well
That you give back whenever you can in your lifespan.

For to be sure you get my point, and what sets him apart,
Is that he’s always been a jewel and had a big heart.
For Ed has a lot of love is not the ordinary man that he appears to be.
It’s no wonder then that he has elected to care for his Mother,
To ensure she gets the best care and dignity for the rest of her years.

I love you, my Brother!
Bob Collazo, 8/16/17

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My Godmother Celia

July 19th, 2017 No comments

You’ve been my Godmother and kept in touch with me since I was six.
Throughout my life, you and Abe were always my mentors, my sounding boards.
Together with my Mom & Dad, I now recognize
You all shaped, and molded me to be able to choose my correct life’s path;
So grateful to you that this guided me to a successful career prize.

Celia, I know the recent years have been difficult at best.
But you’ve been so strong and have marched through all the aches, pains and fears.
Always going forward to new rainbows,
Even though along the road of life you’ve had much heartache and tears.
Your road has been sweet and everything you’d hope for, much more than anyone could ever know.

Celia – Thank you for all your support all these years.

Much love and hugs always,
Bob Collazo, 7/13/17

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