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Father Jose Luis R. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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      When my dad was 16 he came to America with my grandfather and a dozen other men by walking through the desert for days. On their second day they ran out of water, which must have been so devastating. They had to make sure they didn’t make a wrong move or they would be sent back. I remember my dad telling me that one day they heard a helicopter approaching so they hid in a big bush for hours.

They finally managed to cross the border but still had a long way to go. Their leader was a man who knew how to survive in the wilderness. He could recognize almost every animal sound. They became nocturnal, walking all night and resting a few hours during the day. They were very tired because they got little sleep.

After a couple of days, they had no food except a package of crackers, so they each ate one cracker per day. Luckily they found a pond. As thirsty as they were, they decided to drink from it. My dad saw a weird-shaped thing in the water. He later found out it might have been an alligator.

They met an old man who lived where three hills met and always gave food to those coming into America. If you couldn’t find those three hills, that probably meant you were lost. Fortunately my dad and the others found those hills.

After several weeks of little sleep and long walks, my dad reached a small town called Leoti, Kansas, where he worked for a while and sent money to Mexico to help my grandmother and his brothers and sisters.

So, my father, Jose Luis R., is my hero. He has had a lot of influence on my life. I don’t know what I would do without him. Often I wonder what would have become of my life if my father hadn’t come to America. He has been through many hardships, especially when he was young, but that hasn’t stopped him from doing the things he wants to do.

When I am being lazy, he reminds me what he went through for us to be where we are today. He makes me realize how valuable everything we take for granted really is. I’m proud of my father for all he has done. This is why my father is my hero.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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