Isabelino Vasquez-Rodriguez was born in Puerto Rico and came to the United States as a college baseball player. When he was drafted in 1950, he went back to Puerto Rico for training and then, in April of 1951, was sent to Seoul. He was a member of the 15th Infantry Regiment 3rd Infantry Division and served as a rifleman. During his 15 month tour in the Korea, Isabelino Vasquez-Rodriguez slept on the ground, ate military food rations, and was paid 50 dollars a month. He reflects on the danger he felt as he both both North Korean and Chinese troops. After the Korean War, he was sent to Vietnam. He served three tours in Vietnam and was promoted to the rank of Captain. Isabelino Vasquez-Rodriguez wrote a book about his experiences called Proud to be an American.
Battle at Bloody Ridge
Isabelino Vasquez-Rodriguez fought during the month-long battle at Bloody Ridge. He recalls fighting and pushing the Chinese off of the hill multiple times. After pushing the Chinese back, they would return and the fighting would begin again.
Life in Korea During the War
Isabelino Vasquez-Rodriguez was constantly traveling during the war and had to sleep wherever he could find a spot to rest his head. Eating canned food rations was the norm. He recalls the extreme cold in Korea.