“Running Home” by Abraham Wesley Urias

I left home when I was 19 years old. My mom was pregnant with her third child, and my sister was a senior in high school. My father has been out of picture since I was a child. I had graduated from high school but didn’t try to go to college. Instead, I began working. After a summer of selling office supplies, … Read more

“Shots Fired” by Andre Castro

“SHOTS ARE READY!…One for you!… Do you have one?….DOES EVERYONE HAVE A SHOT?!?!” This was the start of a party I threw in East LA before I headed out for my first deployment to Afghanistan as a Navy augmentee to an “Airborne Information, Surveillance and Reconnaissance” unit.  I was nervous about not knowing what was … Read more

“Welcomed Burdens” by Robert Young

The blistering dry heat of the Arabian afternoon hit me as I opened the maintenance shop door. I trudged across the sunbaked pavement to the KC-10 Extender refueling jets lined up on the far end of the runway. “Airman Young!” a loud, no-nonsense New Jersey voice bellowed, cutting through the hot desert silence. It was … Read more

“Eraser” by Gio Caballero

In October of 2012, I was an international college student facing deportation for failing two classes. Twenty two years old, living in my parents’ loft, aimless in academics, and frustrated in competitive Brazilian-Jiu jitsu. When the U.S. Army advertised through the LA Times that they had the need for Filipinos who spoke the Tagalog language, … Read more