He has twin tattoos: one of the Statue of Liberty and another of the Special Forces insignia. The proud veteran served two tours in Iraq, where he put his life on the line for his adopted country. Unfortunately, he was wounded while serving and sustained a traumatic brain injury. He also returned home with a diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder.

Many of our San Diego readers are familiar with the risks and rewards of the military life. Multiple studies have shown that PTSD and traumatic brain injuries can both result in long struggles with substance abuse and sometimes nonviolent crime.

Miguel Perez Jr. served not only in the military. He spent a 7-year stretch in prison for selling drugs to an undercover cop.

Late last month, an immigrantion judge ordered the Iraq war veteran deported to Mexico, though he has not lived there since he was 8 years old. His family (including his parents and his U.S. citizen teenagers) are here in the U.S.

Even so, his story is less disheartening that the tale of another veteran. Manuel de Jesus Castano was a Viet Nam war vet who was deported. He died in exile, unable to get needed treatments at VA hospitals.

He has finally returned to the nation he served, however. He was buried at Fort Bliss Cemetery with full military honors.

A skilled, experienced San Diego immigrantion attorney can help you or a loved one apply for naturalization. You can contact the San Diego Law Offices of Jan Joseph Bejar, A Professional Law Corporation, to discuss acquiring citizenship.