January 2nd, 2013 2 comments

A proud Hispanic,
Fabian came from a poor neighborhood in Laredo’s wild streets,
That his proud wife said he was really lucky to escape.
Always focused on the project at hand,
Joining the Navy would be the first of his plan to take shape.

Then, four years of college through the GI Bill, it was no easy thing to get an engineering degree.
Now thirty-something years later, much through his perseverance, tenacity, and hard work in the Army,
Fabian has risen through the ranks to be a colonel and a great leader of men.
Deeply religious, he stated that he was saved in combat by his Angel time and time again.

A modest man, Fabian will be the first to tell you that he is very humble to be in his position.
I’m sure that his parents, wife, kids, and grand-kids are all so proud;
For he was raised to have good moral character to live by and stand for;
Dreaming back then on those Laredo streets that he might someday excel and explore;
I’m sure not even Fabian as a teenager knew, he would surely be destined for more.

Fabian, from one old soldier to another,
I want you to know that I feel as close to you as if you were my brother;
For you’ve given us inspiration and hope that this world is a better place,
With men like you leading the human race!

Robert Collazo, Revised 3/27/13
Fabian, much happiness today on your birthday, Brother!
So glad you had Godspeed in returning safe from Iraq!

Categories: Non-Fiction, Poetry Tags:

Collazo Family Military History

November 11th, 2012 2 comments

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)

Categories: Non-Fiction Tags:

That El Paso Night

September 30th, 2012 No comments

I can still recall that El Paso night when we went in,
It was clear and cool, and there was something in the wind.
As a young man of twenty-one, were my hopes and fears but a whim?
How would I best provide and care for him?

The miracle that occurred after two days of labor, was that he was born alive that day.
Two months a “preemie”, however we were so proud and very blessed,
Even though the doctors said his survival was a long shot at best.
That he would survive, and live to be okay, we prayed, for surely that would be our quest.

By now you know that the Man upstairs answered our prayers that day.
Thinking back on it now, it was more like a sweet fragrant bouquet when we finally saw his little face.
For we never could we have imagined thirty-nine years ago today,
That our Son would change our lives forever that day, enriching it so in such a great, big way!

Happy Birthday Son!
Bob Collazo, Jr., 9/30/12

Categories: Non-Fiction Tags:


August 31st, 2012 No comments

My classmate since kindergarden, Ken was always there at my side.
A pretty straight guy, loyal and true.
He was always there to encourage me and get me through.
A great friend that I could always look up to.

Now all those years ago have come and gone in a flash;
Sorry for not keeping in touch, for time has just sailed through so fast.
Now I hear you’ve got some medical issues of late;
But just hang in there old friend, my most loyal classmate.

Jerry and I went to see Ken the other day;
Even though we had not seen each other in 40 years,
Of course, he recognized me right away;
We spoke of our old times together, & we all laughed so hard thru the tears.

Robert Collazo, Jr. 8/31/12
We’re all praying for you, my old friend!

Categories: Non-Fiction, Poetry Tags:

Abe – The Continuing Story

August 13th, 2012 No comments

At the top of his profession,
Abe was a brilliant, eloquent lawyer and judge, steady as a majestic oak,
Who provided his wife and family all of his love and support,
But now sadly has been silenced by the ravages of a stroke.

Praying and hoping for his recovery,
His wife of sixty years is ever present, watching over his care;
And even though Abe cannot yet speak,
His eyes and his smile tell Celia his love is very much still there.

To me, that brief, instantaneous look in his eye,
When you see that he recognized you and was aware,
That’s when you knew that for that fleeting moment,
That his memory of you is still there.

Now it’s been months since Abe’s stroke,
Yet Celia is still there, lovingly by his side every day of the week.
Baby steps at first, seemed his progress at first,
Then all of a sudden, he started making strange noises, actually re-learning to speak!

Could this be His big sign?
Abe’s re-awakening, his rebirth to the human race?
Just goes to show you the power of the human spirit,
For we just knew he’d be back with a little help from God’s grace.

Human nature being what it is, I am aware,
Still it is not our job to question, complain, or compare;
But to be compassionate, to assist, and to offer him the Lord’s prayer.
For all we know, Abe could be the fortunate one, and truly walking on air!

Mom called Abe this week to wish him birthday greetings;
So when the phone was put up to his ear
Upon hearing Mom’s voice, Celia recounted,
Abe grinned widely most sincere!

Now, knowing my Godfather Abe like I do, I would apprise
That like a prizefighter looking for the win,
You can see the fight in his eyes,
Wanting to come back to us, surely that would be no surprise!

Knowing Abe’s memory is still in him locked inside,
Then, of course, he recalls his Son, with whom he took much pride;
His beautiful daughter, Sandra, who made his heart swell;
His grandkids that he also loved as well.

Robert Collazo, Jr.
Get well soon, Godfather Abe! Come back to us!

Categories: Non-Fiction, Poetry Tags:

Lasting Memories on Being A Dad on This Father’s Day 2012

August 9th, 2012 No comments

Recalling early memories of me waking up early
To go play with my Son in his room when he was 3 or 4;
Whether it was “Shoots and Ladders”, or whatever,
We would laugh and play for hours.

Later on as he got older
We would wrestle or just playing catch.
Teaching him to drive and stay out of the ditches
Along the cotton and corn fields of West Texas.

Then came those times in Cajun country
Going fishing with him on a beautiful early dawn
Catching so much speckle trout with my teenage Son,
Just the two of us, having so much fun!

Robert Collazo, Jr.
Thanks for all the great memories, Son!
I love you! – Dad

Categories: Non-Fiction, Poetry Tags:

40 Years Ago Today

May 27th, 2012 No comments

Forty years ago today,
In a church in South Texas,
I walked down the isle and said “I do” to a woman.
For on that day,
I married the love of my life, my wife.
That woman that would define my purpose of living, and give me life’s sweetest bouquet.

Now she’s been with me through thick and thin;
Through good times and in bad;
In sorrows and in grins.
She is every piece of me, my whole, my everything in my life;
For without her, nothing else would matter.
So on this special day, I thank God I found her.

Forty years ago
Two twenty year old kids in that church never imagined
This wonderful life that we’ve had together, all these years;
Going through life’s blessings and struggles together;
Our life has been golden, and very sweet;
Most of all, totally complete.

Happy Anniversary, my love!
I love you so…

Robert Collazo, 5/27/12

Categories: Non-Fiction Tags:

My Brother Frank

March 29th, 2012 No comments

Growing up with my brother Frank, life was never dull, and always fun.
He was at times rebellious in his youth; and always had his unique brand of humor.
Thinking different than most folks, he was very competitive, thus was never one to be undone.
He was very protective of his brothers; for he was, and still is, the family anchor.

Through the years, we have shared many experiences, my brother and I.
From our kid’s parties, to our fishing & hunting sagas, to now our barbecue outings.
We’ve grown and matured much more than we could have imagined in our childhood neighborhood on 38th street.
We did not know everything then but did know that family was everything, and now it has made our lives more complete.

Of course, my brother was always thought of being “Fearless, Fast, Fantastic Frank”.
Though back then, he sometimes had his mind made up early.
Much wiser, and more open-minded now; and can still out-joke you pointblank,
He is still our family jewel; a Grandpa many times over with a beautiful family, and life has brought him many, many blessings!

I love you,
Your Brother Bob

Categories: Non-Fiction Tags:

My Love, My Wife

January 28th, 2012 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, and 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;
Close to the downhill side of the mountain of life,
You are still my everything, my all, and my wife.

Now today on your 60th 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.

Bob Collazo Jr., 1/28/12

Categories: Non-Fiction, Poetry Tags:

The Magic of Eddie

January 17th, 2012 No comments

The year was 1998, when Eddie came to Andrew, and came to be.
More than just a dog, he was his constant companion,
Followed him everywhere, and was his best buddy ever, most agree.
He came at a time when he needed someone to help him swallow
When life brought the bad; and someone to share
In the good times that would eventually follow.

Well, the years came and went in the blink of an eye.
The boy that got the little dog back then, is now a grown man.
His family’s love had guided him for sure.
However, somehow in the magic of Eddie through the years,
Andrew is somehow a little better, a little stronger,
And he will always remember those barks from Eddie, as music to his ears.

Bob Collazo Jr. 1/17/12

I wrote this for my Cousin Andrew…remember the good times with Eddie!

Categories: Non-Fiction, Poetry Tags: