Sebastian “Chany” Almazan was born in Cienfuegos, Cuba on August 9, 1945. The day the atomic bomb was dropped in Nagasaki, Japan. Little did he know the role war was going to play in his life.
Chany enjoyed a carefree life as a child in his beach town. He lived like Huckleberry Finn from the pages of Mark Twain.
On April 21, 1961 the Bay of Pigs attack failed to liberate Cuba from communism. His parents decided to look after Chany’s future and they told their 15 year old son that he was going to be “SENT to the USA.”
Chany arrived at Miami Florida on September 12, 1961 as a “Pedro Pan Child”. A movement created by the Catholic Church with the US Government and some antirevolutionaries in Cuba that brought over 14,000 unaccompanied children from Cuba to the US in the early sixties. He struggled in Puerto Rico where he was sent to live with a distant relative. He was working during the day for 65 cents an hour at a loading dock, while attending evening school to finish his High School. When he finished High School in 1963 he moved to Virginia to attend Va Tech and become an architect. He studied during the day while working at night. He graduated in December 1968 and was drafted into the US Army in February 1969.
Sebastian did not start living a normal civilian life until 1971. The issues he had to face in order to achieve the “American Dream” are unique and worth reading about.