Home at last! World War II war hero returns to newly renovated home

Home of Purple Heart, Bronze Star recipient needed extensive repairs

SAN ANTONIO – At age 95, World War II veteran Alfred Guerra was visibly excited to see his newly renovated West Side home after a year of extensive repairs that were interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Thank you, thank you,” the recipient of both the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star kept saying every chance he could to a gathering of some of the volunteers who had helped make the repairs possible.

“The least that we can do as veterans and as citizens is make sure that he has a comfortable home,” said Tony Roman, past commander of Chapter 1846 of the Military Order of the Purple Heart. “Hopefully, for another 50 years, and he’s only 95.”

Guerra’s West Side home now has a new roof, new siding, central air-central heat, flooring, appliances, furnishings, even the paintings on the wall were thanks to a communitywide effort.

Sebastian Guerra, his grandson, an IT specialist, said he totally wired the house to help ensure his grandfather’s safety and security.

Sebastian Guerra drove back and forth from Dallas every weekend for the man who’d helped raise him and his brothers.

“Did the world for us, no matter what,” his grandson said. “Whatever we needed or whatever we asked, he would always find a way to do it.”

After Alfred Guerra’s son, Roger, passed away, his sister, Maria, didn’t know what to do about finishing the repairs they’d only begun.

That’s when her sister-in-law, Sara Rosales-Guerra, reached out to the national office of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, who then contacted Tony Roman, the past commander of Chapter 1836.

After Roman spread the word, donations and offers of help came in until COVID-19 made it more difficult.

“Just when we would think that we were at our wit’s end, another angel would come down and tell us, ‘Y’all aren’t finished yet. We need to continue this project,’” Rosales-Guerra said.

“I believe it was Roger sending us these people to tell us to get the job done,” she said.

To do it, friends, family and strangers alike joined forces along with businesses and veterans’ groups, like Soldiers’ Angels.

Along with landscaping and other finishing touches, Soldiers’ Angels even built a garden that Guerra could tend and a house for his dog and faithful companion, Chester.

Martin Martinez, a close family friend, said Guerra was overwhelmed by the generous outpouring on his behalf.

Martinez said he would tell Guerra, “You deserve everything that you get that people do for you. You deserve it.”

He said Guerra’s response was simply, “Well, I guess so.”

“That’s the way he is,” Martinez said.

This morning Several Patriots met with WWII Veteran “Alfred Guerra” Purple Heart and Bronze Star recipient at his...

Posted by Military Order of the Purple Heart, San Antonio 1836 on Saturday, January 16, 2021

About the Authors:

Jessie Degollado has been with KSAT since 1984. She is a general assignments reporter who covers a wide variety of stories. Raised in Laredo and as an anchor/reporter at KRGV in the Rio Grande Valley, Jessie is especially familiar with border and immigration issues. In 2007, Jessie also was inducted into the San Antonio Women's Hall of Fame.

Sal Salazar is a photojournalist at KSAT 12. Before coming to KSAT in 1998, he worked at the Fox affiliate in San Antonio. Sal started off his career back in 1995 for the ABC Affiliate in Lubbock and has covered many high-profile news events since. In his free time, he enjoys spending time at home, gaming and loves traveling with his wife.