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Reviewed by Kathryn Bennett for Readers' Favorite
Proud American: The Migrant, Soldier, and Agent is the memoir of author Sergio Tinoco. He was the only child of a single mother and was raised by his grandparents in South Texas. The area he grew up in is commonly called the Rio Grande Valley. Sergio grew up a poor migrant worker, who started earning a living by picking crops at the age of seven. Sadly, his family also had to make use of the public systems in place to help poor Americans, welfare as most call it. Sergio suffered all the judgment and stigma that goes along with that. Sergio didn't want his entire life to be that way, he wanted to break the cycle, so he joined the United States Army. Life would lead him further down a trail, a trail that would not always be the easy road to travel.
I really enjoy memoirs and decided at the start of this year I wanted to try to read at least one every three months. It is easy to grab the latest celebrity memoir, but I find that I enjoy memoirs from the everyday regular “Joe” more. So I was very excited to be given the opportunity to read this memoir by Sergio Tinoco, not only because it's a memoir, but it really seems to be so relevant right now in the times in which we are living. I found this to be a beautiful, well written memoir that took me on the journey of a man's life. I felt like I was walking right next to Sergio as he experienced his life. Not only is the author brave, kind, willing to sacrifice, but he has a talented way with words. There are not many memoirs that make me feel as if I am just sitting in a coffee shop and talking with the writer. I can't imagine how it feels to have people make threats against his family, and having those same decent people essentially hating him because of his job at border patrol.
This book is riveting and engaging from the first page to the last. I enjoyed every moment and honestly was sad when it was over. We need more people like the author in the world, and most of all in the country. Despite not always being treated fairly or well, he raised himself up, bettered himself, and served. Ten years of service and PTSD were not enough to keep Sergio away from serving this country more. I have never personally seen what can happen with border patrol agents, but from my understanding it is a pretty thankless job, especially for a man like Sergio who has Mexican heritage. There isn't really much else I can say about this fantastic memoir; it is truly engaging and I think everyone in this country needs to read it. To hear a voice that has literally been there, on the front lines for many years. Reading this book truly will open your eyes and the fact that the writing style is conversational and well done is just icing on top of an already great cake.