On Memorial Day, Senator Uresti was proud to recognize the Fort Stockton “Band of Brothers” in the Texas Senate. A family with deep roots in Fort Stockton, this true Band of Brothers fought for their country in many different locations and in two wars. The story begins with their father, Pablo Gonzales, who had ten children with his wife, Cruz Valencia. However, she died at a young age and he was left to raise the children with only the help of his sister. Notwithstanding this tragedy, he sacrificed much for his country by sending all seven of his sons to serve.
In the Second World War, six of the Gonzales sons joined the U.S. Army and were stationed within the United States, in Europe, and in the Pacific.
The oldest brother, Private First Class Abran Gonzales, was deployed to England and participated in the invasion of France. Another brother, Private Natividad Gonzales, fought in Italy and helped to liberate Rome. Private Albertano Gonzales served with the 3rd Army in Europe, where he saved his crew by fixing the tires of a stranded tank while under enemy fire. For his gallantry in combat, he was personally presented with the Silver Star by General George Patton. Private Nicholas Gonzales was the youngest of the six, and served for two years in the South Pacific.
The two other brothers served in bases in the United States, still awaiting their overseas assignments when the war ended. Private Pilar Gonzales was stationed at Camp Fanin in Tyler, while Private Reyes Gonzales was stationed in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The 7th brother – Corporal Isabel Gonzales – was only 16 when World War 2 ended. He followed in his brother’s footsteps and enlisted for the Korean War, also serving honorably.
Although today the Gonzales brothers have all passed away, their children and grandchildren were present for the recognition to honor their lives, service, and amazing story in the Senate chamber on the final day of the legislative session. Their story of dedication and service is just a small example of the immense contribution that Mexican-Americans have made to preserve our democracy and liberty throughout the great wars of the 20th Century. Senator Uresti was honored to pay tribute to their family's service, past and present.