A letter from Armando Julio Felípe Lopez de la Cruz Vasquéz del Río el Segundo, a Mexican American soldier during WWII, to the United States Secretary of the Army

Dear Señor Secretary,

I’m writing to you to talk about the conditions of minorities in the military, especially for us Mexican Americans. Most of us resent the fact that we are being racially segregated into “neighborhoods and reservations and denied basic citizenship rights” (Danzer, Gerald A, et al.). Also, a lot of my Mexican and African American friends are wondering, why we are fighting for the democracy of Europeans when we don’t even experience freedom here at home? (Danzer, Gerald A, et al.)
I have noticed that African Americans and other minorities are being excluded “from the early recruiting efforts and much of the actual combat” (“A CHRONOLOGY OF…”) in this great war. In spite of this “large numbers still volunteered to fight for their country” (“A CHRONOLOGY OF…”). Also, my good friend Tyrone, who is an African American and works in the mess hall, says that “78% of [minorities] hold menial positions in areas such as the quartermaster, engineer, and transportation corps”(Chernick, Kevin, et al.). Why do you whites hate us so much? What have we done to merit this distrust? Many of us have “repeatedly demonstrated [our] bravery, loyalty, and ability in combat” (“A CHRONOLOGY OF…”) and yet you still treat us as garbage.
We have proved time and time again that we will fight and we will die for America. I find it sickening that those who can do something about our predicament do absolutely nothing. I believe that America owes its minorities a large debt for all that we have done, and I feel that now is the time to have that debt repaid.

Yours Truly,
Armando Julio Felípe Lopez de la Cruz Vasquéz del Río el Segundo

African American soldiers,
African American soldiers,
Mexican American soldiers,
Mexican American soldiers,

Works Cited

“A CHRONOLOGY OF AFRICAN AMERICAN MILITARY SERVICE From WWI through WWII.” Integration of the Armeed Forces. 19 March 2009. <>
Chernick, Kevin, et al. “Honor or Humiliation: The analysis of the African-American Soldier in World War II.” 23 Febuary 2004. 19 March 2009. <>
Danzer, Gerald A., et al. The Americans. Page 564. McDougal Littell Inc., 2003.

Bryan Warrington