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Nogales mourns one of the last living Tuskegee airmen from Arizona

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NOGALES, Ariz. (KVOA) - One of the last living Tuskegee airmen from Arizona died over the weekend at a senior care facility in Tucson. His special story began along the border.

"We are fortunate enough to say that we had an original Tuskegee airman in our post," said Joe Diaz, who was friends with Tuskegee Airman Joe Biggs. Both were members of the NogalesVFW Post 2066.

"He was born in Nogales, and his mom was born in Sonora," said Diaz.

For that reason, it was fitting Biggs spent his final years serving people on both sides of the U.S-Mexico border as a customs agent after his military career.

"Whenever we had a Veterans Day or a Memorial Day, everyone wanted to come to hug George and to take a picture," Diaz said. "That's how good he was."

Bigg's friend and veteran, Miguel F. Ronquillo, said "He stands for Nogales."

Ronquillo talks proudly about Biggs, who overcame extreme racism during his service in world war two from fellow military members.

"Due to the fact that he was of color, I don't think that mattered with him. He took it as it was and we all took him in as a brother," said Ronquillo.

Bigg's father and his grandfather were both Buffalo Soldiers. 

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Paul Cicala

Paul Cicala is a 2-time winner of the prestigious”Edward R. Murrow Award” for his reporting/anchoring in news & sports. Paul Cicala has also been nominated for multiple EMMY’s. Cicala has won the “Best Sportscaster” category in Tucson the last 3 years (voted on by readers of “Tucson Weekly”). Cicala is a native Tucsonan who specialized in border stories during his earlier career as a news reporter in this market, and now concentrates mainly on sports stories (with an occasional special report and/or feature story on life in Tucson & the Sonoran Desert).

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