Veteran Stories

Antonio Rangel

Antonio Rangel was just ten years old when Pearl Harbor was attacked. His three brothers all served in the military, one of whom was wounded during the Normandy landings. By the time he was 20 years old, Antonio was drafted into the Army during the Korean War.

The California native completed Basic Training at Fort Roberts in 1952 before continuing his training at Fort Benning, GA. Antonio served as an Infantryman in the 82nd Airborne Division and spent most of his active duty at Fort Bragg, NC. He was honorably discharged in 1954 and returned to his hometown of Placentia.

Although he loved his time in the Army, Antonio turned down an offer to reenlist for another three years. “I was glad that I served my country, but I knew that it was time to go home,” he told us. Antonio has been an active member at his local American Legion for 44 years. He has also volunteered to sponsor 17-year-olds to attend Cal State Sacramento for one week for the past 28 years. Antonio shared, “I want to keep sponsoring these students for at least 30 years, and I’m almost there! I also used to volunteer at the VA, but now I’m a patient at the VA.”

In 2017, Antonio experienced a stroke, and then suffered from another stroke in 2018. He shares his house with his three grandsons and receives constant support from his daughter. Antonio mentions, “She is my right-hand man!” Antonio and his family have been living in their home for nearly 60 years, and their home needs many repairs in order to remain safe and accessible.

Purple Heart Homes will be partnering with Sea Air Federal Credit Union and Owens Corning to provide Antonio and his family with a new roof, garage door, and paint job throughout the entire house. When asked what this intervention means to him, Antonio replied, “I appreciate this from the bottom of my heart. I appreciate what all Purple Heart Homes is trying to do for veterans.” We appreciate you, Antonio! Welcome to the Purple Heart Homes family!

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