CommunityVeterans In Focus


Military service has become a family tradition for the Valenzuela family

Valenzuela brothers .png
Posted at 1:02 PM, Nov 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-11 21:40:35-05

In many families military service is a tradition.

The tradition started for one Corpus Christi family with its first generation born in this country.

The Valenzuela Family is a military family.

Five brothers all served their country with honor, and in their family, Veterans Day is a special one.

“Veterans Day, for us, means commitment,” said Israel Valenzuela.

The Valenzuela brothers personify commitment.

In this family of eight children, five enlisted in the military.

Ceferino was first, joining the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1946.

"Being from a poor family, I didn't have anything else to do but enlist,” he said. “That was my best option, so I went ahead and did it.”

Next was Oscar, who joined the Marines a year later.

"I just couldn't take what was going on with the teachers and the Mexicans then,” he said. “There was a lot of discrimination."

Jose Angel joined the Army, and was part of the All-Army baseball team.

In 1956, Rodolfo also joined the Army and served with the 82nd Airborne Division. He was discharged in 1962 before he could have been sent to Vietnam.

"I had my wife here and that kept me from going, but I was ready to go,” he said. “I was looking for action."

The only one who saw action was Israel -- the youngest. He joined the Navy in 1963 and served aboard the USS Kearsarge in Vietnam.

"They set the example and I followed it,” he said. “It was a sense of loyalty, also, to our country. We're all very grateful for that opportunity."

All five went on to college and served their communities in civilian life. Of the five, four are still alive today.

Only Jose Angel died.

Oscar lives in California, but for the three who are local Veterans Day is a day to gather and remember.

"Veterans Day is one day we should all remember, honor, and be thankful for democracy," Rodolfo said.

The tradition continues to this day, as their children and grandchildren have served. That tradition will likely continue for generations to come.