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San Diego County supervisors approve plan to help deported veterans with Tijuana-based Vet Connect Station

03/10/20

Read the full article by Charles Clark in the San Diego Union-Tribune here.

Every U.S. veteran is entitled to certain benefits because of their military service, but ensuring they receive those benefits can be a difficult task especially if are veteran who has been deported.

San Diego County is hoping to play a small part in changing that though.

On Tuesday county supervisors unanimously approved establishing a Vet Connect station in Tijuana in an effort to ensure deported veterans still have access to veterans service representatives and the benefits they are entitled to, including medical care and housing assistance.

“I think most Americans are shocked and surprised to realize we as a country are deporting honorably discharged veterans of the U.S. armed forces,” said Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, who introduced the idea of opening a Tijuana location in December.

“While that is a federal issue that has been going on in many administrations for many years that we can’t address, we can step up and try and extend our county services ... to those same veterans who served in the same wars and wore the same uniforms.”

The Tijuana Vet Connect Station will be located at “The Bunker,” also known as the nonprofit Deported Veterans Support House. It is estimated to cost up to $27,000 to get the station up and running, and $4,000 annually on an ongoing basis. Those funds will be included in the county’s Health and Human Services Agency budget.