Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Antonio Reyna, who served during World War II and survived the Bataan Death March.
The Bataan Death March began April 9, 1942, following a three-month battle in the Philippines during World War II. Japanese soldiers marched thousands of U.S. and Filipino soldiers nearly 65 miles. Thousands died. This is the story of one of the survivors.
Antonio Reyna volunteered to join the Army in March 1941 while living in Taos Pueblo, New Mexico. Reyna went to training at Fort Bliss, Texas, before deploying to the Philippines in September 1941.
While serving in the Philippines, U.S. forces fought against the Japanese in the Battle of Bataan. Reyna was taken as a prisoner by the Japanese military with other Filipino and American soldiers. Inmates marched through the Philippine jungle without food, water or medical attention. They also suffered violent acts by the Japanese military.
Reyna finally made his way out of the camp following the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Reyna made his way out of the prisoner’s camp and received treatment by the Red Cross.
After recovering, he returned to the Philippines to finish his duty before heading back home in October 1945, where his parents were waiting for him. The Army discharged Reyna in 1946. He returned to Taos Pueblo, New Mexico, where he lived the rest of his life, passing away Nov. 25, 2014, at the age of 92 years old.
We honor his service.
Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.
It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. All it takes is an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with as much information as you can put together, along with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.
Veterans History Project
This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at http://www.loc.gov/vets/.
Editor: Joseph Cardinal
Graphic artist: Kimber Garland