Dear Congressman Duncan D. Hunter:
I work with a group of American deported Veterans, and I am the founder of “Deported Veterans of America.” A non-profit organization in the United States, with an aid and assistance office in Tijuana, Mexico.
These deported Veterans earned their right to U.S. Citizenship, and their right to benefits at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Some are also of retirement age, paid into Social Security, and are unable to receive the Social Security retirement benefits they earned.
The number one solution is for the President of the United States to issue all of America’s deported Veterans a pardon, an executive order for admittance back into the United States, and a posthumous U.S. citizenship to the deported Veterans who have passed away.
Please inform President Obama of my request on behalf of all deported Veterans.
You may review the list, with DD-214’s, I hand delivered to Tommy and Holly at your office in El Cajon, California.
Here are their names, branch of service, age, the character of their discharge, and their country of birth.
1. Abarca, Agustin ARMY, 68 years old, Honorable discharge, Mexico.
2. Barrios, Hector ARMY, R.I.P., Honorable Discharge, Mexico, (Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal).
3. Cardenas, Jose ARMY, 65 years old, Honorable Discharge, Mexico.
4. De la Cruz, Mario ARMY, 46 years old, Uncharacterized Discharge, Mexico.
5. Isaacs, Mark ARMY, 53 years old, Honorable Discharge, Guyana.
6. Leyva, Oscar ARMY, 61 years old, Honorable Discharge, Mexico.
7. Lopez, Gerardo NAVY, 41 years old, BCD, Mexico.
8. Lopez, Hector ARMY, 51 years old, Honorable Discharge, Mexico.
9. Orozco, Fernando ARMY, 60 years old, Honorable Discharge, Mexico.
10. Oyarzabal, Daniel USAF, 42 years old, General Discharge Under Honorable Conditions, Mexico (Operation Desert Shield/Storm).
11. Rebolledo, Fabian ARMY, 40 years old, General Discharge Under Honorable Conditions, Mexico ( Meritorious Service Medal / Kosovo War).
12. Richardson, Rudi ARMY, 60 years old, Honorable Discharge, Germany.
13. Robles, Ruben ARMY, 67 years old, Honorable Discharge, Mexico.
14. Romo, Antonio USMC, 47 years old, Honorable Discharge, Mexico.
15. Salas, Enrique USMC, 44 years old, Honorable Discharge, Mexico.
16. Sangster, Valentino USMC, 56 years old, Honorable Discharge, Panama.
17. Varón, Alfredo ARMY, R.I.P., Honorable Discharge, Colombia.
Based on these cases, in addition to others I am willing to discuss, I ask that you review this information carefully. I am confident that you will take my concerns seriously. Please, let’s rectify this horrible chapter in America’s current living history. We can do this!
Thanks for your attention to this matter. I look forward to your response.
Captain Juan Carlos Mercado.
U.S. Army Combat Infantry Veteran.
Book Author of “Fate of a Deported Veteran.”
Founder of “Deported Veterans of America.”
One way to change this dynamic might be to emulate the Israelis and mandate national service (with a military or combat option). We could also emulate the Nepalese and try to have communities better integrate people of different ethnic and religious groups. Finally, we could emulate many tribal societies—including the Apache—by getting rid of parades and replacing them with some form of homecoming ceremony. An almost universal component of these ceremonies is the dramatic retelling of combat experiences to the warrior’s community. We could achieve that on Veterans Day by making every town and city hall in the country available to veterans who want to speak publicly about the war. The vapid phrase “I support the troops” would then mean actually showing up at your town hall every Veterans Day to hear these people out. Some vets will be angry, some will be proud, and some will be crying so hard they can’t speak. But a community ceremony like that would finally return the experience of war to our entire nation, rather than just leaving it to the people who fought.
It might also begin to re-assemble a society that has been spiritually cannibalizing itself for generations. We keep wondering how to save the vets, but the real question is how to save ourselves. If we do that, the vets will be fine. If we don’t, it won’t matter anyway.
Board I did for @vetart_ as a thank you for all you do for the Veterans and their families every Tuesday night! Our art work is displayed all through out the house. We have a great time (ok maybe not when we are all 6 inches away from each other and not allowed to move for about 40 min.). Thank you again!! VETART class in Yuma Az.