Ohio & Michigan's Oldest and Largest Latino / Hispanic Newspaper

Since 1989




    media kit    ad specs    classified ad rates    about us    contact us


Veteran Lupe Flores honored by Toledo City Council

By Kevin Milliken, Special to La Prensa


July 4, 2011: 87-year-old Guadalupe “Lupe” Flores has received plenty of honors in his life, but perhaps none as special as the one he was presented by Toledo City Council last week. The World War II veteran and long-time barber/businessman/civic activist now has a South Toledo intersection bearing his name.

Maria and Lupe Flores

After all, Flores traveled to Belgium in 2004 at the invitation of that country’s king to participate in the dedication of a war monument and was on board a Northwest Ohio Honor Flight two years ago with dozens of fellow veterans to see the World War Two Memorial in Washington, D.C.


“To me, it’s a big honor. It’s one of the top ones, of course,” Flores said. “I have been decorated in Europe by Eisenhower, presidents and generals. But this is something close to my heart. I accept it in recognition and on behalf of the real veterans, real heroes-- ones that didn’t make it home. To me, that’s very important.”


City council members Adam Martínez and Mike Collins jointly sponsored the resolution, which renames the intersection of Detroit Ave. and Arlington Ave. as “Guadalupe Flores Crossing” for his “demonstrated selfless service to others in military operations around the globe, dedicated patriotism, and community service.”


“We thought there was no more appropriate location given the circumstances—the proximity to the new veterans clinic and the students at Bowsher (High School) to see someone who actually is a Latino and a role model,” explained Collins, who only recently met Flores, but since has had several conversations with him. “I was very, very impressed.”


“It was brought to my attention that he was a Screaming Eagle and that his battalion was very important in the Battle of the Bulge,” explained Martínez. “I came to find out his squad actually made the HBO TV series “Band of Brothers.” I thought that was pretty significant. I had heard a lot about him growing up, things he has done in the community. I thought it was about time.”


Martínez explained that streets usually are re-named for Toledoans after they pass away. But the two councilmen wanted to do it this way so that Flores and his family could enjoy the moment together for years to come. Flores said that aspect particularly touched him, because his grandchildren can learn firsthand about his contributions, both at home and abroad. Some of his grandchildren have even traveled with him to Europe for various ceremonies and reunions to teach them about WWII and his involvement.


“He is so characteristic of those who have served in World War II,” said Collins. “They don’t take any personal credit for anything. They say, ‘I was only one of many.’ If it wasn’t for the caliber and the quality of people who served this nation during World War II, we would not exist as a Republic today.”


But Flores is a bit more open talking about his combat days than most WW II veterans, some of whom rarely want to relive those days in discussions with other people.


“Not the whole story, though, because there are lot of things we will take with us to our graves,” he said. “It is too emotional to tell. Sometimes we made mistakes and we got embarrassed, too.”


According to the city council resolution, Flores served during WW II in the 1st Battalion, 501 Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division. He spent time at three different US-American military installations before being deployed to the European theater. He was stationed or saw action in England, northern France, Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Middle East.


Flores first learned of the honor while vacationing in Mexico City in May. While en route, he took part in a war memorial dedication in Texas, which was attended by former President George H.W. Bush, whom he had never met.


Flores received numerous medals, awards, and citations for his military service, leaving at the end of WW II with the rank of corporal. He earned a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star, Good Conduct Medal, and Combat Infantry Badge among at least a dozen awards and decorations.


Flores married the former María de la Luz Perales in 1946 and moved to Toledo, became a barber and started his own businesses, which included a restaurant, beauty shop, and barber shop. The couple will celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary in November.


“It was all in a little shopping center at Airport and Westwood,” explained Flores. “It’s still there.”


They also were instrumental in starting the Guadalupe Center, which is now known as the South Side Community Health Center.  The original Guadalupe Family Health Center’s mission was to serve Latinos in east and south Toledo. Services are provided by a professional staff of doctors, nurses, and medical assistants. The health center is open five days a week, providing Medicaid and private insurance health tests and services, as well as Spanish translation when needed.


“We were very active in that,” Flores recalled, quickly pointing out the center was named for a nearby Catholic church, not him. “With the help of doctors from different hospitals, we were able to set up the clinic and get donations from different hospitals. That was very interesting.”


But Flores credited his wife for her dedication to the center, not his own contributions. She received recognition from the Ohio Senate for her volunteer work at the Guadalupe Center.


Flores and his wife have five adult children—Oscar, Richard, George, Mario, and Anna—as well as 13 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren, as well as one more on the way. The resolution describes family as the “joy of his life.”


We reserve the right to delete or edit any comments we find inappropriate.
Copyright © 1989 to 2011 by [LaPrensa Publications Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 09/27/11 17:55:08 -0700.





Web laprensa





«Tinta con sabor»     Ink with flavor!



Spanglish Weekly/Semanal

Your reliable source for current Latino news and Hispanic events with English and Spanish articles.
Contact us at [email protected] or call (419) 870-6565



Culturas Publication, Inc. d.b.a. La Prensa Newspaper

© Copyrighted by  Culturas Publication, Inc. 2010