My father, Leo Tanguma, the child of impoverished Mexican American and Chicano migrants, worked as a child laborer in the farms of America during the 1940s. He joined the Marines, and later, after being honorably discharged for being only 15 years old, he joined the Army.

He raised my two brothers, Carlos and Emiliano, and me, Leticia, by himself, after our mother, Ruby, died on April 27, 1983, from a long struggle with cancer. In the last five years, my father survived cancer, and is now painting much smaller paintings.