REMEMBERING MR. RALPH RODRIGUEZ, JR.; Congressional Record Vol. 164, No. 98
(Extensions of Remarks - June 13, 2018)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E832-E833]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []



                      HON. MICHELLE LUJAN GRISHAM

                             of new mexico

                    in the house of representatives

                        Wednesday, June 13, 2018

  Ms. MICHELLE LUJAN GRISHAM of New Mexico. Mr. Speaker, I rise today 
to remember a great American hero, Mr. Ralph Rodriguez, Jr., who passed 
away this month at the age of 100. Mr. Rodriguez bravely served our 
country in World War II and survived years of inhumane treatment as a 
prisoner of war.
  Born to Mexican immigrants, Mr. Rodriguez was sent to train in the 
Philippines prior the United States' entrance into the war, but was 
ambushed by Japanese forces on December 8, 1941, just hours after the 
attack on Pearl Harbor. After months of intense fighting, Mr. Rodriguez 
and his fellow servicemen were ordered to surrender. They were then 
forced to

[[Page E833]]

walk more than 60 miles to Camp O'Donnell in what became known as the 
Bataan Death March.
  For almost three years, despite facing malnutrition, torture, and 
forced labor, Mr. Rodriguez did his best to provide medical care to his 
fellow soldiers without the use of proper supplies. He also kept 
handwritten records of his fellow prisoners, many of whom succumbed to 
a range of ailments. He was finally liberated and returned to New 
Mexico in January 1945.
  After returning home, Mr. Rodriguez worked for a variety of lumber 
businesses in the Albuquerque area. Additionally, he served in 
leadership roles at the Bataan Veterans Organization and the American 
Ex-Prisoners of War Organization. He also met his wife, Elizabeth, and 
had three children, Mona Lisa, Ralph III, and Charles.
  Mr. Speaker, I want to extend my heartfelt condolences to the loved 
ones of Mr. Ralph Rodriguez, Jr., and honor Mr. Rodriguez for his 
valiant service to our country.