UC Berkeley student, former soldier shares stories of deported vets

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- UC Berkeley is about to have its commencement ceremonies. Every year, a few students stand out.

One such student is telling the story of U.S. Military veterans who have ironically been deported.

Captain Joe Bush, a former U.S. Army soldier and marine, is 36 and soon to have a master's degree from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.

"No, I'm not the oldest person by far. There's another former soldier who is 50," Bush said.

His experience in the military and what he's learned at Cal have helped him to create videos that highlight issues pertaining to veterans.

"As a 14-year veteran myself, I decided to visit the Grand Canyon state," Bush said.

While on assignment in Arizona, he learned about the hundreds of U.S. Military veterans who have been deported. That prompted him to visit a support house in Tijuana where about 60 vets are in limbo.

They don't consider themselves to be Mexicans while at the same time, the U.S. no longer wants them.

"These guys who came to the United States, served in the military, and then wound up getting a felony or major misdemeanor at some point in their life and served their sentence and then get kicked out," Bush said.

Mauricio is one of them. "Easily, I did over 160 combat missions out there," he said.

"The only way they can come back to this country is if they're dead. The day after they die, they can come back to the United States and be buried in a national cemetery," Bush said.

Bush wants America to know their stories. "I want to make sure it's told correctly by the people who have been there and the people who have done it," he said.

Bob Calo is one of his professors. "And all the stories he's done, it's all about this passion for like who are we as vets and maybe we don't get seen," he said.

He knows he'll probably always have a military-related career teaching others how to walk a mile in his boots.
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