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Military pride

Russells Point veteran shares family, personal account of service to country

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Vietnam veteran Luis Avila wears a U.S. Air Force T-shirt and poses at his Russells Point home near photos of his father Jesus Macias Avila Sr., who fought alongside Pancho Villa in the Mexican Revolution, and his six brothers all of whom served the United States in the military. (EXAMINER PHOTO | REUBEN MEES)

With a father who fought under Pancho Villa in the Mexican Revolution of the mid- to late-1910s and six brothers who later fought for U.S. forces, it is no surprise that Russells Point resident Luis Avila has his own military tales to pass on to future generations.

“I just wanted to follow in my dad’s footsteps,” the U.S. Air Force veteran of the Vietnam conflict said. “He fought for his country and I wanted to fight for mine.”

Although Jesus Macias Avila Sr. didn’t tell his sons much about his experience fighting as a Horseback Freedom Fighter alongside the notorious bandito-turned-general and his Division del Norte, his experience in the Mexican Revolution shaped the father’s experience and the values he instilled in his family, Mr. Avila said.

“He and my mother moved to California later and had seven sons and three daughters and they taught us the value of hard work,” he said, explaining how his father was known as the best man to pick a crew of workers for contractors seeking laborers.

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