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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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Jack Diamond

September 29th, 2018 No comments

Jack Diamond the Cat

There once lived a cat named Jack Diamond.
He adopted Sonia & Jess, you’d never guess,
The cat they thought was wild,
Was really like a child.
Now Jack was attacked & was almost dead.
But he pull through,
The cat with nine lives with only one left.
For the wild cat no more,
That was attacked & gored,
The legend of Jack Diamond lives on forevermore.

Bob Collazo,
9/29/18

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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 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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Fernando Was Always There

March 23rd, 2017 No comments

The youngest of ten brothers and one sister;
My earliest recollection of him, I’m thinking I was eight,
Was of him and Dad putting our bikes together,
Him playing Santa, and all of us just happy;
For Fernando was there.

Recalling a young teenager driving us fast to school,
In his 49 Chevy, looking cool with his curly hair, and always with much flair.
Growing up with him close by, we felt warm & secure more than anywhere,
We knew we could count on him for anything,
For Fernando was there.

In my teens, recalling the good times,
As well as my rebellious hard times, he steered me on hard choices,
Sometimes at difficult cross roads of my life, when I needed more than prayers,
He always gave me direction, and kept me straight,
For my Tio Fernando was always there.

This deeply sincere, hard-working man,
A loving son, and brother; devoted husband; a great Dad, and a wonderful Grandfather,
There has been no one quite like him to compare.
Straight, and tall, a man among men, who always stood out in a crowd,
For Fernando was always there for all of us.

Now that this great Man has gone to his rest
He served his country well, made much with his life,
Living life fully, and may I add, with much zest.
For even though his last years his body was much confined,
He is flying with eagles now, we can only guess.

With much love, and until we meet again, Tio…

Bob Collazo
Updated on 4/11/17

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Our Very Own Chief of the Boat

January 2nd, 2015 No comments

Oscar was a first generation American who loved his country.
Twenty-four years in the Navy and in submarines he did serve;
Rising in rank to the prestigious rank of “Chief of the Boat” that he deserved,
He was mentor and friend to many.
If he knew you needed something, he’d be with you for the long haul.
Blessed by his sense of humor, he loved having a good time with all.

I always thought my Uncle Oscar was our family’s very own submarine man.
My earliest recollection of him was when I was a very young, wide-eyed young kid in awe
When he would tell us stories of his submarine adventures, underwater for months at a span;
Of course, “Run Silent, Run Deep” was the hit movie at the time;
A World War II movie about submarine warfare,
So we would imagine our Uncle Oscar as the leading man.

Romeo Oscar Collazo was husband, dad, brother, uncle, grand-dad, and more;
Or as his grandchildren called him, “Lelo”, which, I am assuming, is short for “Abuelito”,
He embodied everything that was good in the human race;
This very proud man devoted his life to his family, his country, and his God.
I, for one, look forward to seeing him again in everlasting grace,
So that he again can tell me more submarine stories and I will again be in awe.

Bob Collazo, Jr., 1/2/15
Miss you Tio! Until the next time!

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My Tio Luis

March 6th, 2014 No comments

Luis embodied what he felt was important in his life – God, Country, and Family.
First, he made his peace with God;
Country because he was part of the “greatest generation”, served faithfully in WWII;
Family because he would do whatever it took for family.

Luis was a very kind, and loving man,
Would gladly give you his shirt if you asked him for it, we all agree.
Worked an honest trade, and made a clean living,
To ensure his wife and five kids had everything they would need.

My Dad, Lalo, recalls the story when he asked his brother Luis to assist in a job,
It was a great example where his exceeded devotion to family shined bright;
When Luis showed up in the middle of the night with his kids, wife, mother-in-law,
and even a washing machine in the back of an old Rambler station-wagon packed oh so tight!

Now you may not know that Luis was the forth Collazo brother to fight in WWII,
His devotion and loyalty to Country is unquestioned for sure.
For on a ship to the Pacific, his ship hit a typhoon, and almost sank.
Then, in Okinawa, where he detained Japanese POWs, he very nearly starved for lack of supplies;
Ate nothing but onions and bananas as the cost of being an America Yank.

Luis loved his bingo, and of course, their Vegas trips they loved to book;
Where early in life, he and his beloved, Zulema would go;
Introducing my Mom & Dad to casinos where they were hooked,
They shared many good times together, no matter the weather.

Now Luis’s Son, Choche, has said
That what an irony in the parallels of their lives;
For his Dad detained POWs in the war,
And his Son detained illegal aliens from the country next door.

Now let it be known that a great first generation American named Luis Manuel Collazo,
The sixth child born to Gerardo and Manuelita, in Laredo, Texas,
Lived a long, and happy life, devoted to God, Country, and family that he adored,
Lies asleep in the arms of the Lord.

Bob Collazo, 3/6/14
Until we see you again, Tio!
Tio = Uncle

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My Wife

February 1st, 2014 No comments

I have now known you nearly all of my life.
You have been my refuge from life’s storms,
My salvation, my love, my wife.
Yet with every passing year together,
I feel we grow closer still.

Now you know the road we’ve traveled;
It has sometimes been long and steep.
Yet we have had a whole lifetime together to keep;
Now close to the downhill side of the mountain of life,
You are still my everything, my all, my wife.

Today on your 62nd birthday,
I wish you nothing but happiness and love to surround you today.
Together, may the rest of our travels in life’s clear blue sea,
Be as beautiful and bright as the love you’ve given me;
My love, my dearest, my wife.

Hope you had a good birthday!
Love you!
Bob, 1/28/14

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