Skip to main content

Gilbert Q. Casares American GI Forum Papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: Coll-195

Gilbert Q. Casares American GI Forum Papers is a collection of documents, plaques, and photographs of Casares’ life and the AGIF events.


  • Majority of material found within 1947 - 1996


Conditions Governing Access

No restrictions

Conditions Governing Use

This material is made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user assumes full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to taking precautions against infringement of copyright and respecting the publication rights of reproduced materials. All rights are reserved and retained regardless of current or future development or laws that may apply to fair use standards. Any materials used should be fully credited with their source according to the example given in the Preferred Citation note. Requests for assistance with citations and images of publication quality should be directed to


6 Linear Feet ; 6 linear feet


Gilbert Q. Casares was in WWII and in the Korean Conflict. He was involved with the American GI Forum (AGIF) from its inception in 1948. He was honored for being in the AGIF for fifty years in 1998.

Biographical / Historical

Gilbert Q. Casares was born in San Antonio, Texas on May 14, 1922. He later moved to Corpus Christi, Texas, where he lived most of his life.

He served in WWII in the Pacific Theater of Operations, in the United States Army, as Personnel and Supply Administrative Officer. He also served in the Korean Conflict as Recruiting Officer and Administrative Sergeant Major, until 1952.

According to Casares’ family, he wrote the first petition for the American G.I. Forum (AGIF), concerning the burial of Pvt. Felix Longoria, who was a Hispanic man who served and died in WWII, in 1945. Upon return of his body to his family in 1949, the local funeral home would not bury Pvt. Longoria in the cemetery. Pvt. Longoria was then buried in the Arlington National Cemetery with the intervention of Senator Lyndon B. Johnson.

Casares was a charter member of the AGIF, formed in 1948. As an AGIF member, Casares worked in various capacities including Recording Secretary, Treasurer, President, Honorary Commander, and Special Assistant to Dr. Hector P. Garcia. He was the regional and district Chairman of the Veterans Family Organizations, and the National Public Relations Officer. He worked in the AGIF Veterans Outreach Program recruiting, counseling, and placing individuals in the public sector. He assisted Dr. Garcia with complaints concerning employment irregularities, VA benefits, Social Security benefits, and State and County Welfare benefits, by investigating and corresponding with the agencies involved with the complaints.

Casares and Dr. Garcia were close friends, even playing dominos on Saturdays. Casares worked tireless for AGIF. On November 14, 1998, the AGIF presented Casares with a Commemorative Award for fifty years of service (1948-1998).

Casares worked at the U. S. Naval Air Station at the Corpus Christi Army Depot (CCAD), previously known as Army Aeronautical Depot Maintenance Center, ARADMAC. He became CCAD’s first Equal Employment Officer. He later became the Director of the Rural Coastal Bend Private Industry Council, serving Senior Citizens.

Casares was also a member of the Disabled American Veterans, American Legion, and Veterans of Foreign Wars. He was a charter member and organizer of the Nueces County Community Action Agency, serving on the Executive Committee, and was board representative for the CCAD and the AGIF. He was a member of the Planning and Zoning Task Force of the Homeport Steering Committee.

Casares volunteered for the American Red Cross as a Military Liaison Officer. He was a member of the Christ the King Catholic Church serving as president of the Men’s Club, Vice President of the Parish Council, Parish representative to Diocese of the Corpus Christi Parish Councils, and member of the Knights of Columbus. He was also a member of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church.

Casares died on July 5, 2007. He with the first Hispanic buried in the Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors. Casares and his wife Julia had four children.


These papers include AGIF and personal newspaper clippings, photographs, military and civil service certificates, rolled photographs, plaques, and magazines. It is arranged in seven series.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was donated by David Casares, Gilbert’s son, on 4-18-2007. Dr. Tom Kreneck assisted with the donation.

Related Materials

Dr. Hector P. Garcia Papers

Processing Information

Nadine Vasquez Hefner organized the papers, created records, and finding aid which was completed in February 2023. Uploading and editing was assisted by Eric Christensen, Librarian of Archive Processing.