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Colorado brothers to roll from Tijuana to D.C for deported veterans

Author: Joey Bunch - September 11, 2018 - Updated: September 11, 2018

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veteransManuel Valenzuela, left, and his brother Valente served in Vietnam yet could face deportation. (Photo courtesy of Manuel Valenzuela)

Two Colorado Springs brothers will drive a message-draped RV from Colorado to Tijuana, Mexico, then to the Veterans Day parade in Washington, D.C., to make a plea for deported veterans.

Valente and Manuel Valenzuela, Vietnam vets in their 60s, have avoided deportation while their own cases linger in the courts. They were brought to the U.S. as children but contend their mother was an American citizen. They served with distinction in the military yet live under threat of deportation. Other foreign-born veterans haven’t been as fortunate.

They have been campaigning to allow those who serve in the military to return to the U.S.

RELATED: Valenzuela brothers, Vietnam vets from Colorado facing deportation, stay busy helping others

“We don’t leave anyone behind in the service,” Manuel Valenzuela said. “It’s time to bring these servicemen home.”

Their motorhome with a “wrap” urging Americans to bring home deported veterans will be unveiled in Colorado Springs Friday at 10 a.m. at 4615 Town Center Drive in Colorado Springs.

On Saturday morning motorcycle-riding veterans will escort the RV to from the Colorado Springs Veterans Center at 955 West Fillmore St. to the state Capitol at 200 East Colfax in Denver for a rally to begin at 11 a.m.

Others are invited to join the caravan.

After that the brothers will travel to Tijuana to accept petitions from deported veterans asking to return, as well as a folded American flag. Manuel Valenzuela said the RV has been accepted as an entrant into the Washington, D.C., Veterans Day Military Parade on Nov. 10.

But he’s hoping to get a chance to give President Trump the signatures and the flag.

“I want to say, ‘President Trump, you are the only one who can do this, the only man who can bring these soldiers home,'” Valenzuela said. “‘You can stand up and be the commander-in-chief for all the military.'”

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch is the senior political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has a 31-year career in journalism, including the last 15 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and is a two-time Pulitzer finalist. His resume includes covering high school sports, the environment, the casino industry and civil rights in the South, as well as a short stint at CNN.