David is sore most days. It’s his back and his hands, mostly, but to be honest, it’s all the joints. He’s deaf in one ear, blind in one eye, and walks with a cane. He’s 64 and has arthritis most everywhere you can have it. But there’s some pain that age doesn’t inflict. Terrible thoughts, the stuff of bad dreams. For him they’re memories, and all too real.
Hector Barajas came to the United States from Mexico when he was 7 years old and became a green card-carrying resident, meaning he could legally live and work in the U.S., but was still subject to deportation. Deciding that he wanted to give back to his adopted country, he enlisted in the Army at 18. Barajas served in the 82nd Airborne from 1995–2001 when he left the service with an honorable discharge.