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A Truly American Story: Former Migrant Field Worker Turns Astronaut

by Jacquelyn Mahendra on 08/25/2009 at 4:33pm

AstronautStories like this one make me proud to be American (but not in a creepy way). They make me want to keep fighting for an America that lives up to its ideals that anyone can do anything, if they put their mind to it and work hard enough.

Via the Californian.com:

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — He toiled in California’s farm fields alongside his Mexican migrant worker parents and didn’t learn English until he was 12. Now Jose Hernandez, NASA astronaut, is about to rocket into orbit.

His parents will be in Florida next week for space shuttle Discovery’s launch, as will his two older brothers and sister, who also worked the cucumber, sugar beet and tomato fields back in the 1960s and 1970s.

In a recent interview, Hernandez reflected:

A lot of kids loved summer vacation. We dreaded it because we knew what that meant. That meant we were going to be working seven days a week in the fields.

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