Veterans Day

Selene Espinosa, Staff Writer

World War 1, “The Great War,” ended at the 11th hour, on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, and more than 38 million people were killed, wounded, or missing.
Eddie Ahumada, a veteran, chose to join the military because he was a High School dropout and was earning minimum wage at a factory. He wanted to travel and he knew the military had many benefits for its veterans once out.
Ahumada says “It was a great experience…, [I] made many friends from different parts of the United States and around the world.”
Ahumadas’ technical job name was “Power Generator Mechanic.” He repaired gas generators, like the ones people take on camping trips, “These large generators [are] capable of powering a whole building,” says Ahumada.
Ahumada also had negative experiences during the War: racism, alcoholism, not getting paid much, and going to war thinking he would die every night. While in Iraq (Desert Storm), pulling guard duty at night, he would start thinking, “What if I get killed out here?” Going on field exercises back in the states was not the best because there were no bathrooms or showers, “Baby wipes is your shower out there,” Ahumada says.
Positive experiences he had were that he loved traveling to Korea and Iraq. “In Korea, you enjoy the beautiful mountains. But Korean folks didn’t seem to care much for us. The Iraq landscape was totally different from Koreas’. Not much green out there; it was all deserts,” explains Ahumada.
Ahumada realized how lucky we are to live in America, noting that women can’t even show their face out in public in Iraq.
“Visiting different parts of the world was probably the best part of the military for me. Also you get to make new friends at each new base you get stationed at,” states Ahumada.
During Ahumadas’ last year of service he came home and got married. He and his wife decided to stay separate until he was completely out of the war. However, Ahumada went back to North Carolina and she stayed with her family, it was difficult for him, “It would have been nice to bring her with me. But wouldn’t have been able to afford it. Remember, I mentioned earlier that the military pay wasn’t much.” says Eddie.
Ahumada was 18 years old when he joined the military and did 4 years of active duty.
He is currently living in West Covina.