Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, now commanding our troops in Iraq, grew up with no indoor plumbing or electricity in dirt-poor Rio Grande City, Texas. His single mother was determined that her six children would go to college. Here’s a story from the Corpus Christi Caller-Times:

When Ricardo Sanchez was 13, he and an older brother told his mother they didn’t want to go to school anymore.

OK, she said. They could pick cotton instead.

“I woke them up at 5 in the morning and sent them off in one of the trucks,” said Maria Sanchez, the 77-year-old mother of the highest-ranking military official in Iraq. “They came home and they were very tired, but I just gave them some dinner and told them, ‘Go to bed because tomorrow you have to wake up early. You have to get up at 5 a.m. and pick cotton for the rest of your life.’ ”

After one 14-hour workday, Sanchez told his mother he was done. School would be just fine.

His mother had a fourth grade education. All her children are college graduates in professional careers.

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  1. Walter E. Wallis says:

    It was tomatoes for me, but the lesson was the same.

  2. Zuchini here, but that was for college.
    That mother was smarter than her education gives her credit for.

  3. Janitor.

  4. Unfortunately in today’s world Mrs. Sanchez would probably have been arrested for endangering the welfare of a child, the kids put into “the system” where they lose all respect for themselves and others, end up turning to crime and spend the rest of their lives in and out of incarceration.

  5. I hoed soybeans – by the acre. Thank you Mom.

  6. tomatoes

  7. Cows. And boy, are they dumb. Let’s eat ’em.

  8. My parents were crueler than that. They just kept sending me back to school. I didn’t learn the hard way till I was out on my own.