Jemez Pueblo Veterans Remember Two Wars

Listen! This story has audio components. Be sure to click on the colored words to hear the whole story. The audio clips will open in another window–Ed.

On April 15, 2012, three of us from the Museum of the American Military met with fourteen residents of Jemez Pueblo at Lorraine and Tito Chinana’s home. We interviewed these proud military families about their war-time experiences. This piece is one of several articles based on the interviews that day

World War II Veteran Napoleon Loretto was one of five brothers serving in the Army at the same time. Listen to his story

His children, Victor, Martin and Rosalie shared their thoughts on their father’s experiences, and explained that many people assume that because Napoleon is an Indian, he must be a codetalker .

World War II and Korean Veteran Geronimo Fragua elaborated .

Lorraine mentioned that at first, many of the World War II soldiers didn’t talk about their experiences, but recently they have begun to share their stories .

Laura, Geronimo’s daughter agreed.

After World War II, Geronimo came home to Jemez, married his wife, Rosalie, and settled down. Soon, he was called back to service and Rosalie had to raise their children while their father went back into harms’ way .

Geronimo described his Korean  experience. The conversation turned somber as he described the horrific conditions the Korean children lived in .

Rose recalled that it was tough while Geronimo was gone, but remembered the kindness of her family and the Jemez community support. Then one day Geronimo came home!

It wasn’t always easy after the soldiers came back to Jemez.  Laura shared a childhood memory from soon after her father came back from Korea, and, later, when she pieced together some of his experiences from the war.

As we ended the session, Geronimo offered this.

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