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Interview with Jose Refugio Aguilar [10/21/2011]

Lisa Huerta:

Good afternoon, Mr. Aguilar. My name is Lisa Huerta. I am conducting an oral history interview at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, Texas. Today is October 21, 2011. The court reporter today, who's taking down your memoirs is Crystal Saldana. And your full name is Jose Refugio Aguilar. Your date of birth is September 21st, 1931; and you served in the United States Marine Corp. from 1948 to 1953 --

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Right.

Lisa Huerta:

-- is that correct? Okay. Your place of birth was San Antonio --

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Right.

Lisa Huerta:

-- is that correct?

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Correct.

Lisa Huerta:

And what were the names of your parents?

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

My parents was -- I'm a Junior. So he was Refugio Aguilar. And my mother was Maria Delalus Aguilar.

Lisa Huerta:

And did you have any siblings -- brothers and sisters?

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Yes. I have three sisters and four -- five brothers.

Lisa Huerta:

It's a big family.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

[laughs]

Lisa Huerta:

Three sisters and four brothers.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Yeah.

Lisa Huerta:

So there's eight total -- there were eight total?

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Yeah.

Lisa Huerta:

And did you grow up in San Antonio?

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Yes.

Lisa Huerta:

Were -- did you have any other family in the military? Were any of your brothers and sisters --

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

My brothers were.

Lisa Huerta:

Your brothers.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Yeah. I had two brothers that were in the Army.

Lisa Huerta:

And --

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

They served in World War II --

Lisa Huerta:

Okay.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

-- which was in Germany.

Lisa Huerta:

Right.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Yeah.

Lisa Huerta:

Two brothers that served in --

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Right.

Lisa Huerta:

-- World War II. And you mentioned earlier that you enlisted.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Right.

Lisa Huerta:

Do you want to talk about the circumstances of why you chose to enlist? Is that something that you feel like is important to talk about?

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Well, yeah. Yes.

Lisa Huerta:

Was it something that you wanted to make a career out of?

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Something -- yes. Yes. Something that I wanted to make a career of, putting in 20 years of my life in that -- in the Marine Corp. But I didn't make it, because I got all --

Lisa Huerta:

You were injured.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Yeah. I was a prisoner.

Lisa Huerta:

And your -- MR. HUERTA: I was all shot up, and couldn't make it life. So I came out and went to work.

Lisa Huerta:

What -- how did you pick the branch of the Marine Corp.? Especially, if you had brothers who went into the different branch.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Right.

Lisa Huerta:

Did you --

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Well, they had a -- excuse me. [coughs] They had a deal going on that they called it "buddy -- "buddy week". All the -- all of us in the neighborhood, we got together and he says, "Hey, let's go and see what this is all about." So we went to the recruiting station and they told us, "Okay." They said, "All you guys" -- we were about 10 guys there, we used to hang out. And he says, There is a buddy system going on in which all you guys can go, and you guys will never be separated."

Lisa Huerta:

Oh, wow.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

If you go, you go to boot camp; you go to camp; you go to war; you going everywhere you go, you all going to be together.

Lisa Huerta:

Wow.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

That was a buddy system. I think that's the first time they had it, and the last time because I haven't heard nothing about it.

Lisa Huerta:

I have never heard of that.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Yeah. So -- (off the record, 5 min. 14 sec.) (on the record, 5 min. 34 sec.)

Lisa Huerta:

So this buddy system, you went to the recruiting office with several of the guys that you --

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

With all my buddies, yeah.

Lisa Huerta:

With all your buddies from the neighborhood.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Oh, yeah. All my buddies. Yeah.

Lisa Huerta:

And how many of them joined with you?

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

All of us.

Lisa Huerta:

All of them.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

All of them. We decided, you know -- flip a coin. Let's see. Everybody goes or everybody stays.

Lisa Huerta:

Wow.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Everybody goes.

Lisa Huerta:

And they all chose the Marine Corp., and you all went together?

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

We all went together.

Lisa Huerta:

And did you -- did they follow through on this buddy system? Did they go with you to boot camp and then to -- no. It didn't work out that way.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

No. We were all okay until we got to Korea -- or Japan. And then Japan, they started going alphabetically into war. Guess what?

Lisa Huerta:

You're Aguilar.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

"A's".

Lisa Huerta:

Right.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Yeah. I kept telling them that my name is Zamora, man, with a "Z". They wouldn't take it. [laughs] It was a joke.

Lisa Huerta:

[laughs]

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

And so anyhow, that's where we got separated. Yeah. I saw two of them pretty wounded coming back; and I saw the other two in a body bag.

Lisa Huerta:

Uh-huh.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

But we just kept on going. And we kept going all the way to the Chosin Reservoir. That's where the Chinese and North Korea border.

Lisa Huerta:

Border. Right.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

And that's the reservoir. We were taken -- oh, we were guided up there. And our general was General MacArthur. He was in charge of the whole shebang: Army, Air Force, Marine Corp. And General MacArthur are wanted to cross the border and go into China. "Let's go get rid of that Chinese people over there." But Harry Truman knew about it. So he called the general, and they met somewhere in midway or somewhere --

Lisa Huerta:

Uh-huh.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

-- in the middle. And he fired him.

Lisa Huerta:

Your general?

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

General MacArthur. In the meantime, we stayed out there. We were waiting on him, and he got fired over here. So by the time we found that out, we turned around to come back. Forget going that way, come back. On our way back is where we all got hit.

Lisa Huerta:

And by "hit," do you mean you faced enemy fire and you were --

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Well, yeah. There wasn't --

Lisa Huerta:

Is that the point that you were captured?

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Right. Yeah.

Lisa Huerta:

And you were a prisoner of war?

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Right. Yeah.

Lisa Huerta:

So that was very --

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Well, I got hit on my leg. And I turned around and I was going down the mountain and they hit me. They hit me on my leg. It went in through the back and came out through the front. Yeah. It busted both bones.

Lisa Huerta:

Both bones in your leg?

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Yeah. And when I stepped -- I was running and when I stepped like that, the bone cracked and my feet went all the way to the back and I fell down. [hit table] And I seen the guys running. I told a couple of them, "Hey, hey. Give me a lift, man. I can't run no more." They lift me up for a little while but then they say, "Hey, Joe, we can't do it, man." They let me down and I crawled in a hole there where there was about three or four Chinese, I think they were. Yeah, dead. So I grabbed one and put him over -- over me because the Chinese were running on top of us. They were right behind us. So I picked one up and I played dead. But the problem was that I thought -- I stayed there for about, I would say about two or three hours, something like that. And I couldn't hear anything. I would pass out and I would come up and it was snowing. So I would grab the guy out, and I said "Nobody, nobody, nobody here." When I got up to get out of the hole, I was dragging myself -- dragging myself up. [trying to sound Chinese] I looked but it was the Chinese. And I said, "Man, what are these guys saying?" I couldn't talk their language.

Lisa Huerta:

Right.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

I just kept saying, "Whatever you do you son of a bitch, don't shoot. Okay. Don't shoot. Don't shoot. Don't shoot." So they grabbed me, put me on a canvas, and they dragged me across the border there. From then on I don't know where the hell I was [clears throat]. That's -- that's when it started.

Lisa Huerta:

And it -- and it was the Chinese that held you --

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Yeah.

Lisa Huerta:

-- in captivity?

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Uh-huh.

Lisa Huerta:

How long were you kept as a prisoner of war?

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

They tied me for 72 days. That's the day -- I remember that day because that's when they put me on the scale in Japan and I weighed 72 pounds.

Lisa Huerta:

Oh, my gosh. 72 pounds. How were you freed?

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

They were exchanging prisoners for prisoners. And I think I got exchanged in one of those.

Lisa Huerta:

And --

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

I don't remember much about it. Yeah. And what the papers -- well, whereabouts were you? And whereabouts were you? And whereabouts did they take you? I don't know. Who knows, you know.

Lisa Huerta:

Right.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

You're wounded. You're stressed out. You pass out. They're torturing you on your way down there. And you want me to tell you the name of the town or what.

Lisa Huerta:

Right.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Forgot it. That's a rediculous question [laughs].

Lisa Huerta:

And so you were -- you were freed after 72 days, and you remember it being a prisoner exchange. And so were you -- where did they -- where did they take you so that you received medical treatment --

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

They took us --

Lisa Huerta:

-- and for your debriefing?

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

They took us to Japan.

Lisa Huerta:

To Japan.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

First, I remember they -- they took us on a ship first. [burped] Excuse me.

Lisa Huerta:

Was it -- was it American?

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

It's American ship, yeah. It was the Red Cross. It had a Red Cross on it and everything. I think it was like a hospital ship. From there, they took me to Yokosuka, Japan.

Lisa Huerta:

Uh-huh.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

And they treated me there. I think it was about two, three months, something like that. I was about to lose my leg.

Lisa Huerta:

Your leg.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Yeah. Because it wasn't only the wound, it was frozen. I had frozen feet, you know. So -- and that thing was black as this thing when --

Lisa Huerta:

Right.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

-- when it gets cold, you know, frozen. So -- but I kept -- I kept telling them, "No. Don't do that. I don't want to lose my leg." And one of the doctors that -- "We'll give you a week Joe. If you move those toes, we won't -- we won't chop your leg off. But if you don't, we're going to have to chop it off because we don't want that thing to come up, you know."

Lisa Huerta:

Gangrene or --

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Gangrene, yeah.

Lisa Huerta:

Yeah.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

And then we'll have to chop piece by piece, you know.

Lisa Huerta:

Right.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

So -- no. I kept around. I kept around. And, finally, the third day I saw -- I was listening to the music or something and I kept wiggling my toes and I saw it. "Call the doctor." [laughs] Man, the doctor came and -- "Toes. I'm moving it." "Well, okay." So he put a cast on me and everything. And I had a cast on me from all my leg all the way up to here and all the way up to this knee right here. And a stick -- a stick right there. [showing area on leg] So I wouldn't move.

Lisa Huerta:

Uh-huh

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Yeah. I couldn't move it. Anyhow, the way I look at it, I could lose -- but, anyhow, that was the way I was for about six months. Then finally they -- I came from Yokosuka to Hawaii, from Hawaii to Guam, from Guam to San Francisco, and from San Francisco to Lackland Air Force Base. And they would take me there because I was in the Marine Corp. so they -- I says, "Which is the closest hospital, naval hospital?" "That's in Corpus Christi." "And how far is Corpus Christi from here?" Because I lived in San Antonio.

Lisa Huerta:

Right. [clears throat]

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

It's about a 150 miles. I'll take it. I'll take it because my whole family wanted to see me, you know.

Lisa Huerta:

Right.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

And that was the closest. So --

Lisa Huerta:

So that's how you ended up in Corpus?

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Yeah. [laughs] I ended up here. And, well actually, that's where I met my wife.

Lisa Huerta:

In Corpus?

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

In Corpus, yeah. She was a nurse, and she was taking care of --

Lisa Huerta:

She was a nurse at the -- at the hospital where --

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Yeah. Right.

Lisa Huerta:

Wow.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

So we got together; we got married. That's 60 years ago. [laughs]

Lisa Huerta:

That's amazing.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Yeah.

Lisa Huerta:

I just want to back up just a little bit. Your -- your dates of service started in 1948. Were you --

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

I was enlisted in '48.

Lisa Huerta:

You were in listed in '48.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Yeah. Right.

Lisa Huerta:

And -- and then you went to a boot camp.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Right.

Lisa Huerta:

And where was that?

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

In San Diego, California.

Lisa Huerta:

And how long was that, do you remember? A few months?

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

That was 13 weeks.

Lisa Huerta:

13 weeks in boot camp.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Yeah.

Lisa Huerta:

And so when you were deployed and you ended up in Japan, how long -- it was very early in your -- in your deployment that you were captured?

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Yeah. Uh-huh.

Lisa Huerta:

Okay. And so was it in 1948 or was it in 19 --

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

'50.

Lisa Huerta:

1950.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Uh-huh.

Lisa Huerta:

And when you got back to Corpus and you continued to recuperate -- I would imagine?

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Uh-huh.

Lisa Huerta:

How much longer did you stay active before --

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

No, I was discharged.

Lisa Huerta:

You were discharged?

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Uh-huh. I was discharged. Yeah. As a matter of fact, I was discharged here in Corpus.

Lisa Huerta:

You were?

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Yeah, uh-huh.

Lisa Huerta:

And do you, of those 10, those -- you think it was about 10 friends that you had, did many of them come back?

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

No.

Lisa Huerta:

No.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

No. I think there's about two, three of them that still living. Because [clears throat] I went to a 50-year reunion and I saw two of them that were real good friends. And I couldn't believe they were still alive. I was looking at the pictures, because when you go to a reunion they put those pictures, those long pictures that the whole company --

Lisa Huerta:

Yes, sir.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

-- picture is. And you could see who -- who -- who was the one that went with you and all that, you know. But you got to look at the picture because somebody tells me, "Do you remember so and so?" No, I don't remember.

Lisa Huerta:

The name. Right. It's the face that you remember.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

No, I got to see him.

Lisa Huerta:

Yeah.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

I was looking at -- "I know this, bastard." [laughs] I know this guy. And he says, "That's me." The guy that was right behind. And I turn around, "Hey."[threw his arms up in the air] Oh, God.

Lisa Huerta:

That's amazing.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Yeah. We got so drunk. I'm not going to tell you what happened.

Lisa Huerta:

[laughs]

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

It was a reunion [laughs].

Lisa Huerta:

And so before the interview started, we visited a little bit and we talked about the awards that you have received -- citations and award. And I want to make sure and get those on the record. The --

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Well, I don't remember.

Lisa Huerta:

The -- the POW.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

I got the Purple Heart.

Lisa Huerta:

The Purple Heart.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

The POW.

Lisa Huerta:

The POW. The Korean War --

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

The Korean War Medal.

Lisa Huerta:

The Bronze Star.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

The Bronze Star, yeah. And there's the Korean Service and The Korean -- The Korean something. I don't remember. I don't remember. There's so many of them it's hard. If I would have known I would have brought all that stuff with me.

Lisa Huerta:

That's okay. I think we can still try and incorporate it in the record.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Uh-huh.

Lisa Huerta:

Did -- what did you do after you -- when you moved to Corpus and then you met your wife, what did you do to make a living after?

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

I worked with an oil field supply. Yeah -- store. And we used to -- they sell pipe and everything for an oil field, you know. Like Texaco or, you know, those refineries.

Lisa Huerta:

Refineries, right.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Yeah, right.

Lisa Huerta:

And did you do that for the most of your life?

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

36 years.

Lisa Huerta:

36 years. Until you retired?

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Right. I retired from there.

Lisa Huerta:

And --

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

I retired from there, but I wasn't old enough to get Social Security, so I had to go work.

Lisa Huerta:

You had to go work [laughs]. That happens to people.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

So I went and applied at the post office [clears throat]. And they told me, "You have to take a test." I says, "Okay. I'll take a test." And they wouldn't call. They wouldn't -- they wouldn't let -- you know, three weeks passed by, I went back. "Listen, I made the -- I made the test. I got a 98 on it, and I'm a Veteran. I mean, you're supposed -- you're supposed to hire Veterans." And she says, "Well, uh -- " I says, "I tell you what, I'm going to get my representative from the VA and going to come over here." And she says, "Mr. Aguilar, you got a job."

Lisa Huerta:

You got a job [laughs].

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

And I say, "Uh-huh."

Lisa Huerta:

[laughs] And --

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

And I got in there, and I worked -- I'm thinking it was 10 years.

Lisa Huerta:

10 years.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

At 65, I told the lady [banging on table], "I'm gone. I'm gone. That's all I need."

Lisa Huerta:

[laughs]

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

So I left and I got -- I finally got my Social Security check and my compensation. Of course, I'm a 100 percent disabled. So I'm pretty well off, you know. I make a living.

Lisa Huerta:

You make a living.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Me and my wife by ourself now. So all the kids are gone.

Lisa Huerta:

Are any of your children in the armed forces?

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Just one.

Lisa Huerta:

One?

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

The little one, yeah.

Lisa Huerta:

What branch is he in?

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

He was in the Army [laughs]. He went into the Marine Corp. recruiting thing. And he played football so and he got hit and he had this part -- what do you call it? Chest -- some kind of -- but he had a hole here, and he couldn't make it in the Marine Corp. So he called me from there, he said, "Dad, they won't take me." "How come they don't take you?" Because of this hole that I got here. I says, "Dadgummit." I says, "Where you at?" "I'm here at the Marine Corp." "What's next door?" "U.S. Army." "Try 'em out." [laughs]

Lisa Huerta:

[laughs]

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

"Dad, you want to get rid of me?" "No, son, but go try it out." So he tried it out, and he went, and he passed.

Lisa Huerta:

He did? [laughs]

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Yeah. I said, man --

Lisa Huerta:

So he passed to the Army and not the Marine Corp.?

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Yeah. I said, "Man, the Army's taking anything, nowadays."

Lisa Huerta:

[laughs]

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

So he's a -- he put in 40 years, I think it was. Yeah, 40 years. He's out already.

Lisa Huerta:

So you also mentioned that you are -- you were a volunteer for the VA?

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Yes, I volunteer for the VA. Yeah.

Lisa Huerta:

Still? Now?

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Right now, yeah. I go on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Lisa Huerta:

That's amazing.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

I -- I help the lady at the physical therapist. Yeah. I help her over there with change sheets and pillowcases and fold the linen for her. She's got a lot of work, and they won't give her any help. So --

Lisa Huerta:

That's amazing.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Yeah.

Lisa Huerta:

That you still continue --

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Yeah.

Lisa Huerta:

-- to serve.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

So I go and help her.

Lisa Huerta:

And you also mentioned that you went to a 50-year reunion?

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Yeah.

Lisa Huerta:

Is that a reunion of your -- of your --

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Of that -- of that year.

Lisa Huerta:

Of that year.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Yeah. Like of the 1950s.

Lisa Huerta:

Right.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Yeah. It's like a reunion that they have here in school.

Lisa Huerta:

But it's tied to the year of --

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Yes.

Lisa Huerta:

-- of service?

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Of service, yeah.

Lisa Huerta:

So you have maintained relationships with --

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

No, right. Yeah.

Lisa Huerta:

-- with people?

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Uh-huh. And there's another outfit that we stand for is the Chosin Reservoir -- the Chosin Unit. That's -- those are the servicemen that were in the Chosin Reservoir trying -- you know, where MacArthur took us.

Lisa Huerta:

Right.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Right. So they call it "Chosin Few," because we were a few guys that got away --

Lisa Huerta:

Right.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

-- from there. From there, you know.

Lisa Huerta:

Right.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

When they -- when they. The figure is when they say 35,000 men wounded, killed, prisoner of war, MIA. That's 35,000.

Lisa Huerta:

35,000. Wow.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

That didn't come; remember that. They either shot up, prisoners, or nobody knows where they're at. So the few, the "Chosin Few."

Lisa Huerta:

"Chosin Few."

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

That's -- you don't see many.

Lisa Huerta:

That's --

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

There's about -- there's about six or seven here in Corpus Christi, that we get together. As a matter of fact, we're going to have a union -- a reunion for the "Chosin Few." Yeah.

Lisa Huerta:

That's -- it's amazing.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Yeah. Oh, yeah.

Lisa Huerta:

Is there -- is there anything that I haven't covered that you would like to say? That you'd like to be documented?

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

No. That's -- I think.

Lisa Huerta:

Your -- I mean, your experience is -- is -- is really amazing. And I appreciate, very much, that I was allowed to -- MR. AUGILAR: Yeah. [laughs]

Lisa Huerta:

-- to interview you and to preserve this. And I thank you for -- for fighting for all of the -- all of the things that -- that I take for granted every day.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

[affirming]

Lisa Huerta:

So I thank you very much for being here, sir. And if you don't have anything else, I think we're done.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

That's about it, I guess.

Lisa Huerta:

If you have any -- any photographs or anything that you would like to be included with your -- with your record, we can probably arrange for that to be --

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Or, yeah, yeah. I got --

Lisa Huerta:

You do have photographs?

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Yeah, I got a photograph. Yeah.

Lisa Huerta:

That would be amazing.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Yeah. As a matter of fact, I got -- I got a little museum at home [laughs] where I got all my medals, all my pictures, everything that -- that -- what was it? That I had in Korea, you know, that I went to. My little -- my little library.

Lisa Huerta:

Your little library [laughs].

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Yeah.

Lisa Huerta:

I think that -- yeah. If we would -- if I can figure out a way to arrange for that, if we could make copies of some of the things you have so we can preserve those as well. Because, as you said, your -- the "Chosin Few" is such a small number.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Uh-huh.

Lisa Huerta:

I think it's really compelling if we could preserve that and preserve your experiences --

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

Yeah, that would be --

Lisa Huerta:

-- fully.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

You're -- you're welcome to go to the house, my house and see all I got.

Lisa Huerta:

It would be an honor to do that, sir.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

[laughs]

Lisa Huerta:

It really would.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

A lot of people go down to the house, you know, sell something or people from church and they walk in and they forget to why they come for. They're looking at all the house.

Lisa Huerta:

I bet.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

So I says, "Good-bye." [laughs] "I don't want to hear you anyway."

Lisa Huerta:

[laughs] Well, I think that that's all, sir. And again, just thank you for the opportunity to do this.

Jose Refugio Aguilar:

No problem.

Lisa Huerta:

And thank you for your service.

 
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