Gilberto Dominguez (Alumnus)

By University Communications

Monday, 11 12 2018

A love of history and a desire to share it drove A&M-SA alumnus Gilberto Dominguez to pen two books.

Dominguez, who earned his master of science degree in counseling and guidance in 2012, explained that he is not a trained historian, but that he has “always been interested in little quirks about history – you know, things that are not as well known.” He turned his knowledge about those “quirks” into his latest book, called It Happened in San Antonio, which is being released Nov. 29.

“Through the years I started taking notes and would think, you know, I never knew about this. Why isn’t there more about this?  There are a lot of things about San Antonio that are not as well known, so I thought maybe I should turn it into a book,” Dominguez said.

His first book, They Answered the Call: Latinos in the Viet Nam War, was published in 2007. A labor of love, Dominguez’s book is all fact. “Basically what I did was interview about 21 or so Latino veterans. That book took me 20 years to write because I was doing it part-time,” Dominguez said. “I went to different parts of the country that had sizable Latino populations to interview all these combat veterans.”  He felt combat Latinos were an under-represented military group that had garnered a number of Medals of Honor, yet very little being had been said about them.

They Answered the Call is about what Latino soldiers were doing before they went into the war, what they did during the war, and its after effects. It also describes what these men experienced when they came back to the United States.

Dominguez grew up on the West Side in what he described as a poor family. When he was in the eighth grade, Dominguez’s family moved to Cathedral City, Calif., where they lived for about a year. “We came back to Texas Nov. 22, 1963, the day John F. Kennedy was shot,” he said. After returning to San Antonio, he attended John F. Kennedy High School, graduating in 1967.

After high school, Dominguez briefly attended San Antonio College before joining the Army. He was deployed to Viet Nam from March 1969 to March 1970. He graduated from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University) in 1974 with a degree in journalism, and eventually earned his master’s degree in education there. He landed a position as a public affairs specialist and editor with the U.S. government at Kelly Air Force Base and worked in the federal government for 30 years.

To fulfill his desire to someday assist veterans, Dominguez decided to pursue an advanced degree in counseling and found himself at the halls of A&M-SA. Although he did not know much about A&M-SA when he started, he investigated the campus because it was new. After going through the application process with the Military Affairs staff, he determined the University was both “student friendly and veteran friendly.”

Dominguez, who is retired, and his wife RoseMarie, live in San Antonio.