Quad-Cities Brothers to Portray Brothers in New Hero Street Documentary
Brothers Emmanuel and Eric Juarez will star as brothers Joseph and Frank Sandoval in An Infantryman from Hero Street, part four in the Hero Street documentary series produced by Moline-based Fourth Wall Films.
“We are very pleased to have Manny portray hero Joseph Sandoval, and Eric reprising his role as hero Frank Sandoval for this important new chapter of the historical documentary series,” said director Kelly Rundle, noting Eric played Frank in their 2015 documentary “Letters Home to Hero Street.”
An Infantryman from Hero Street tells the true story of Pvt. Joseph Sandoval, who was born in a boxcar in the Silvis, Ill., rail yard to Mexican immigrants. Joe’s brother Frank went off to war in 1942. In 1944, Joe — now married with two young children — was drafted and shipped to Britain with the 41st Armored Infantry Regiment. His unit helped fight the second stage of the Normandy invasion in France.
News of his brother Frank’s death near the Irrawaddy River in Burma reached Joe by letter. In April 1945,
the Allies reached an agreement regarding post-war Germany, and Joe and his fellow soldiers were told the war was essentially “over.” On April 14, 1945, Joe was killed during a German counterattack near the Elbe River in Schönebeck, Germany. Two weeks later Adolph Hitler committed suicide.
An Infantryman From Hero Street also features commentary by Captain Kevin Braafladt, First Army Support Command Historian; Dr. Yurida Ramirez, Professor of Latin American Studies, University of Illinois-Urbana; author Marc Wilson (“Hero Street, USA”), and members of the Joe and Frank Sandoval family.
“They gave their lives to preserve our freedom,” said Captain Braafladt. “It would be their hope, and the hope of their families, to have their service and stories remembered.”
An Infantryman from Hero Street was funded in part by a grant from the Illinois Humanities, with support
from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Illinois General Assembly; and, through its fiscal sponsor the Black Box Theatre, a Quad City Arts Dollars grant (provided by Illinois Arts Council Agency), Hubbell-Waterman Foundation and John Deere.
“It’s an honor to be a part of this incredible documentary project alongside my brother,” said Emmanuel Juarez. “I am very excited to play the role of hero Joe Sandoval.”
Emmanuel is a Quad-Cities business owner, DJ, and emcee. He and his brother Eric are the co-
Eric portrayed Frank Sandoval in the Mid-America Emmy-nominated documentary Letters Home to Hero Street, co-produced by Fourth Wall Films and WQPT-PBS. Riding the Rails to Hero Street and A Bridge too Far from Hero Street premiered on the Putnam Museum National Geographic Giant Screen in 2019.
“It’s such an amazing story,” said Eric. “I always think about how we’re not really too different from the Sandoval brothers. The only thing that separates us is time.”
Only a block and a half long, Hero Street in Silvis lost six young men in World War II and two in the Korean War, more than any other street in America. Hero Street has provided nearly 200 American military service members since World War II. More than 500,000 Latinos served in WWII.
Visit HeroStreetMovie.com for more information.
Fourth Wall Films is an award-winning and regional Emmy-nominated independent film production company formerly located in Los Angeles, and now based in Moline.