Two Marines that found in the Vietnam war are facing possible deportation. Manuel Jesus Valenzuela joined the military at 18-years-old. While some US citizens dodged the draft by fleeing to Canada, Valenzueala felt a “calling to serve.” He wanted to follow in his brothers footsteps who also fought in the Vietnam war. He would end up deploying 3 times in his 4 years of service.
“I felt like, I need to go out and serve the country, I had to do something. So, I said I’m going to do my duty as a Marine.
We were on the border of Vietnam, on the shores and we would do rescue missions into Nam in a helicopter, to help troops who were ambushed, It’s hard to talk about. To rescue somebody, you had to put down the enemy.” – Valenzueala
Valenzueala thought the fight would be over when he returned home but he was wrong. Valenzueala claims he came back with demons in his head. The VA never took care of him, or several of his friends, so they retorted to drinking and doing drugs. Valenzueala claims that was his medication at the time. At one point, Valenzueala picked up a misdemeanor offense for being drunk and disorderly in a bar. Now thanks to a law signed by Bill Clinton, this sole offense on his criminal record is enough to prioritize deporting him.
“I got a ticket for drunk and disorderly at a bar where we were just celebrating a wedding, “That was our medication – drinking and drugs that was our help at the time – cause we didn’t have no help from the VA. In 2009, to get a removal notice from this country, I felt that my world just stopped right there. I didn’t tell my brother. I didn’t tell nobody. I felt embarrassed. I felt ashamed. I felt hurt. There’s words… I can’t even describe how ugly I felt” – Valenzueala
Now Valenzueala awaits his fate he speaks to lawmakers across the country. Valenzueala is on a mission to help other veterans in similar situations. Valenzueala claims that there are approximately 30,000 veterans facing deportation. Politicians acknowledge the problem:
“I think there are compelling reasons to recognize someone who has fought for our country. I believe the Valenzuela brothers are decorated veterans. They deserve tall the rights and privileges of citizenship.” – State Representative Pete Lee
“People are putting their lives on the line for our country and our rights. They have given us everything we have. We should do everything we can for them.” – Representative Lois Landgraf
“We have a system that is so bureaucratized, It needs reform and can never succeed the way it is set up. I’m afraid.” – U.S. Representative Doug Lamborn
What do you think?