Hector Barrios, A Deported Disabled Vietnam Draftee Died Without VA Medical Benefits In Tijuana

Barrios had for years attempted to get his VA benefits for his disability, but was not successful, even in death.

By H. Nelson Goodson
April 23, 2014

Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico – On Wednesday, a group of deported U.S. Veterans will provide a Military Funeral Honors for Sergeant Hector Manuel Barrios, 70, at his funeral service. Barrios passed away on April 21. His family, friends and fellow deported Veterans will honor his memory.
Barrios family decided not to return his body to the U.S. for military funeral honors and to be buried at a government plot. Barrios who died from a heart stroke will be cremated. Only upon death do U.S. deported Veterans are allowed to return to the U.S. for burial honors and are provided a complimentary government burial plot.
Barrios had suffered from head injuries sustained during the Vietnam War. He was drafted by the U.S. government and served in the U.S. Army from July 1967 to July 1969. Barrios was sent to Vietnam from August 1968 to July 1969. While serving in the Vietnam conflict, he suffered head injuries from an explosive device and continued to suffer until his death without any Veteran Administration’s (VA) medical benefits. He attempted to apply for benefits, but was unsuccessful.
Barrios was a decorated Army Veteran, he earned the National Defense Ribbon, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal and Army Commendation Medal. Before his death, Barrios told another U.S. Deported Veteran Hector Barajas, who runs the Deported Veteran Support House in Tijuana that he wasn’t one of those draftees that ran to Canada, Barrios was proud to serve in the military. Barrios earned less than $5.00 ($50 pesos) who worked at a taco stand from 3 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. remained proud to have served in the U.S. Army and remained loyal to the U.S.
Barajas stated that, “Barrios, a greencard holder, was drafted to served in Vietnam, was promised citizenship, received several medals for his extraordinary service, and was severely injured by explosives just prior to the end of his enlistment.
His DD214 stated that he was a US citizen; he assumed he was.
He died waiting to return to the country he proudly served. Barrios was convicted for possession of marijuana found in a vehicle he was in and then deported after serving his sentence.
Like many other deported Vets, he was denied benefits and medical attention for his war-related injuries, physical and psychological.”
Barrios in one of many deported U.S. Veterans that have been left without pension or medical benefits from the U.S. government. The VA offers certain benefits to U.S. Veterans that live abroad, but no information or statistics have been released to indicate that deported Veterans do receive such benefits, possibly because to date most don’t receive them, even when applying.
According to an article in January 2013, the Military dot com quoted VA’s spokeswoman Jo Schuda that deported U.S. Veteran’s who already had VA medical benefits can apply for their continued benefits through the VA’s Foreign Medical Program. Even deported Veterans eligible for educational benefits can apply as long the foreign educational institution is credible and accepted by the government. The earned service pension can still be sought by the deported Veteran, as to how many deported U.S. Veterans have taken advantage of these VA services is unknown, because most of those deported are not informed of their rights to continue to get VA earned pensions, medical benefits abroad and continued education.
Barajas claims, that his research has turned up between 3,000 to 30,000 of U.S. Veterans that have been deported since 1996.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released the following estimates. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) removal services have deported 57 in 2009 and the deportations doubled every year. In 2010, 114 were removed, 228 in 2011 and so on, according to Barajas. He has personally identified about 200 U.S. Veterans heroes who were deported by ICE to 19 different countries.

Hector Barrios interview in Spanish at following video link: http://youtu.be/IGr-VlTWQdE

Funeral services for Hector Barrios will be held on Wednesday, April 23, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. for wake and viewing time at:

Funeraria Nuevo Jerusalem
Calle Brasil 8411 INt 2324 Col Juarez , Tijana BC
Tel: 664-381-3632

For more info. about Barrios and the Deported Veterans Support House, inquires should be directed to:

626-569-5491 U.S.
664-504-7592 Mex.

Contact: Spc. Hector Barajas Deported 82nd Abn. or

Fabian Rebolledo at 664-438-5587.

To donate to the Deported Veterans Support House go to following link: http://www.gofundme.com/6zumc0

Update:

U.S. Deported Veterans Impromptu Military Funeral Honor Guard for Hector Barrios on Wednesday were the following Veterans.

A U.S. flag was presented to Barrios sister by both Hector Barajas and Fabian Rebolledo. Ernie Aguilar called the commands.

Present Arms by Honor Guard!

● DANIEL OYARZABAL, US AIR FORCE/DEPORTED

● HECTOR LOPEZ, US ARMY/DEPORTED

● FABIAN REBOLLEDO, 82ND ABN/DEPORTED

● HECTOR BARAJAS, 82ND ABN/DEPORTED

● ALEX MURILLO, US NAVY/DEPORTED

● TONY ROMO, US MARINE/DEPORTED

● AGUSTIN ABARCA, VIETNAM 1ST CAV DRAFTEE/DEPORTED

● RUBEN ROBLES, US ARMY/DEPORTED

● FERNANDO OROSCO, US ARMY/DEPORTED

● VICTOR HINOJOSA, US ARMY VIETNAM 

● HANK RAMIREZ, US ARMY VIETNAM

● ERNIE AGUILAR, 1ST CAV 

Hector Barrios funeral video with Deported Honor Guard ( Spanish version )

Hector Barrios

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