Skip to content
Please enable your javascript to have a better view of the website. Click here to learn more about it.

Deported Veterans Support House – Hector Barajas


Hector Barajas grew up in the Los Angeles as a lawful permanent resident noncitizen in the United States.  In 1995, Barajas enlisted in the Army.  During his service he won numerous awards including the Army Commendation Medal and Humanitarian Service Medal. He was honorably discharged in 2001. 

In 2010, Barajas who was still a noncitizen was deported to Mexico after he had served a sentence for a crime in 2002.  In Mexico, Barajas established the Deported Veterans Support House in Tijuana to offer help to other veterans who’ve been deported.

With significant effort, Barajas was able to gain United States citizenship from Mexico.  Today, Barajas still runs the Deported Veterans Support House while he works in the United States.  Barajas is also featured in a documentary, Ready for War, which highlights the struggles of deported veterans.    Barajas also heavily advocated for deported veterans, leading to the launch for the Biden administration’s Immigrant Military Members and Veterans Initiative in 2021.  The program works to make Veterans Administration benefits more accessible for non-US citizen veterans, and to help more deported veterans return to the US if they were deported.  The program also works to lessen the number of deported veterans

KBCS’s Mari McMenamin, Dana Schuerholz and Yuko Kodama interviewed Hector Barajas at the Deported Veterans support house in Tijuana, Mexico in 2019.

Producers: Mari McMenamin, Dana Schuerholz, Jesse Callahan and Yuko Kodama.  Special thanks to Magdaleno Rose-Avila for inspiring us to take on this story.

Photos: Dana Schuerholz


Deported Veterans Support House and Dreamers Moms Offices

Deported Veterans Support House kitchen

Hector Barajas with photo of his grandfather

Border wall portion painted with names of deported veterans


How Small Businesses are Critical to Community


Laura Clise, the Founder and CEO of Intentionalist, describes why moving away from a transactional  economy to a relational economy is so important for the health of our communities.  Intentionalist is an online directory and guide promoting businesses owned by black, indigenous, people of color (BIPOC), LGBTQ, veteran and differently-abled  communities.



Navigating the Department of Veterans Affairs as a Transgender Veteran

A federal judge has placed a temporary stay on President Trump’s ban on transgender soldiers.  Meanwhile,  transgender veterans struggle to navigate for appropriate healthcare through the Department of Veterans Affairs.  KBCS’s Yuko Kodama spoke with transgender U.S. army veteran Brooke Wylie about her experiences in advocating for services.


Native Veteran: Philip Red Eagle

People of color served in the Vietman war in greater numbers then their percentage of the population. Native Americans had the highest record of military service per capita of any ethnic group.

KBCS Reporter, Jim Cantu interviewed Philip H. Red Eagle of the Dakota, Sioux, S’Klallam and Steilacom tribes. Red Eagle is a Native Veteran, Writer, Carver, Co-founder of the Tribal Journeys, Co-founder of the literary journal, Raven Chronicles and author of the award winning Red Earth: A Vietnam Warrior’s Journey. Red Eagle speaks about his service, and his healing journey from post traumatic stress disorder.


Unmute the Commute: Ride Along to the VA

Have you ever wondered what it’s like for veterans to get around town? For this week’s Unmute the Commute, ride along with us to the VA center in Seattle. Produced by Casey Martin. (more…)

The Korean War – The First Desegregated Modern U.S. War

The Korean War, often referred to as the Forgotten War, has a significant place in history. It marked the first time in modern America that many black soldiers fought alongside their white counterparts. In 1950 the military was segregated which changed by the end of the war. Local retired captain Clifford Donnelly talks about his experiences serving during the Korean war with KBCS’s Yuko Kodama. (This piece originally aired in 2015)

photo: courtesy of Mark K.

Speaking Out Against the Occupation of Palestine

In Israel, former soldiers speak out against the military’s policies in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. They’re part of a group of veterans called Breaking the Silence.  They document violations and abuse by the military,  the heavy toll on Palestinians and the lasting impact on Israeli soldiers.

KBCS News & Public Affairs Director, Sonya Green interviewed Breaking the Silence co-founder, Yehuda Shaul.