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South Texas Living

You can be all you want to be

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October 2, 2013 | 2,235 views | Post a comment

By Rudy Elizondo

When I was a youngster in Floresville, my family, to put it bluntly, lived in poverty. My father was an auto mechanic with the local Ford Motor Company and my mother took in washing. My father’s pay was minimal.

We lived in a two-room, unpainted, weathered house built and owned by my carpenter uncle. Water was hauled in from a faucet in the middle of the yard serving three families. An outhouse sat majestically at the end of the back yard and was used by the three families. Winter heating came from a wood-burning tin stove and cooking was done on a kerosene-fueled stove. Bathing was in a large washtub. The windows did not have screens. The rooms were not wallpapered. The wall between the front room and the kitchen was covered with newspaper, which included comic strips. I would stand in front of the wall reading the comic strips.

I made a vow to myself that this would not be my future. Education, persistence, faith, hard work, and good fortune provided my escape from that environment. In a previous article, I wrote that you can be all that you want to be. I am grateful and thankful for what I have been able to accomplish. The decisions I made provided me many accomplishments.

I was able to visit Panama; Havana, Cuba; Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; Guatemala City; Kingston, Jamaica; San Francisco, Calif.; San Diego, Calif.; San Pedro, Calif.; Tijuana, Mexico; Washington, D.C.; Baltimore, Md.; Norfolk, Va.; and Denver, Colo.

I had the privilege of testifying before Congress and enjoyed several meals in the congressional dining room at the U.S. Capitol. I was privileged to have been the non-appropriated fund accounting and finance officer, base chief accountant, and also accounting and finance officer of Lackland Air Force Base. This last assignment was the result of the incumbent resigning his Air Force commission. I had a top-secret clearance from the U.S. Treasury Department.

I hope these statements are not perceived as bragging. I just want to assure you that you can become whatever you want to be.

If a pobre mejicano from Floresville can do it, you can too.

Rudy Elizondo is Julia Castro’s nephew and formerly of Floresville.

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