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.
“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 on Friday at 10 a.m. at 4615 Town Center Drive in Colorado Springs.
On Saturday morning motorcycle-riding veterans will escort the RV from the Colorado Springs Veterans Center at 955 W. Fillmore St. to the state Capitol at 200 E. Colfax Ave. 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 a folded American flag, as well as petitions from deported veterans asking to return. Manuel Valenzuela said the RV has been accepted as an entrant in 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.’”