Shirley Muniz & Malyk Grant
Jesus Lopez Jr.
3 years in service
Jesus Lopez Jr.
Jesus Lopez Jr. was born on April 14,1934. As a teenager Lopez was into gang banging.
While he was in high school he felt that his life was going in the wrong direction. He decided to
join the military and serve our country.
Lopez served during the Korean War. He thought this would help him escape the
troubles of being a gang banger. Being seventeen Lopez needed his parents to sign papers to
allow him to serve. At that he began basic training. He was very excited to start a new life. He felt
that basic training was were he became a man. “ The training was extremely difficult but it
changed me” said Lopez. It was challenging at first . Having to face discrimination made him
grow into the man he aspired to be. In training he learned to hold grenades and shoot guns. It
was an experience Lopez won't forget. Lopez was deployed June 25,1951. While stationed in
Korea he did not stay in touch with his family because he was occupied with the war. He wrote
letter once in a while but did not consistently write to them. “ We didn't have computers, all we
had were letters “ said Lopez.
Memories from the war only brought pain for Lopez. The only way to escape the bad
memories was to drink. Lopez soon enough became an alcoholic due to the consumption of
so much alcohol. He drank every chance he got, when he would visit at home but especially with
his friends during war. For over six years, he drank excessively but figured out it was time to
change. He needed to straighten his life out again. Lopez then started to attend AA meeting for a
Lopez saw getting out of service could be a fresh start. He used his GI Bill to finish high
school and college. He earned his high school diploma and gained trade tech education, putting
his time in service behind him . Lopez lost contact with many of his friends he served with and
never attended reunions. It would only bring back the bad memories that the war brought upon
him. When he came back from Korea, Lopez wished he could've been thanked for his service.
He knew that this was the past and needed to move forward. Lopez say “ Education is
everything so live it up and enjoy that you have this opportunity.”
Lopez never had an opportunity to talk about his memories from the war. When an
opportunity arose he had took advantage. Although it was very hard bringing those memories
back, he shared them. For Lopez, his dog tags are important to him. He carries the dog tags to
keep his fallen friends close to him and have somthing from the war at all times. Lopez would not
want to join the service again. “I wouldn't go back and I recommend that everyone get their
education .” Lopez put his life back on track and remarried. Lopez also has children. Lopez lives
in Arizona and now spends his life traveling and being with his family.
This Korean veteran deserves all the thanks he didn't get because he risked his own life
to save our country and give people the freedom they have now. Lopez is an inspiration for the
bravery and dedication he had during the war, he will always carry a legacy with him. That is
something everyone should remember when hearing about Lopez and should thank him for his
service. Jesus Lopez Jr. is a Korean War Hero that will always be recognized for his bravery .