HOUSTON – A disabled U.S. Marine is hoping police find the vandals who targeted his car this weekend.
Hector Cortez flipped through photos from Iraq, remembering “They had advised we had prices on our heads.” The infantry machine gunner did two tours of duty there. The lance corporal came home battling a new enemy -- post-traumatic stress disorder.
His service dog has helped him manage all kinds of stress, including on Sunday morning when he found his car heavily vandalized. The 28-year-old described the graffiti saying, “It was an ‘F-word,’ and I’ll just leave it at that.” He added, “The entire driver’s side had racial slurs -- spray paint vulgarity.”
The mirrors were painted black, the bumpers stomped on and busted.
“Granted it’s not a Mercedes Benz or BMW, but I take pride in the little things that I have, but I have never been that level of embarrassed,” Cortez said.
Cortez, who manages on disability checks, cleaned up his ‘96 Ford Escape as best he could. The irony of risking his life overseas to face this at home is stark.
“As for the idiot who did this, I would have no problem dying for him so he could have that right for his freedom of speech,” Cortez said.
Neighbors said other cars at the West Houston apartments on Threadneedle have also been vandalized.
The Marine believes without Rusty, he would not be handling this properly and letting police deal with it. Cortez said, “I’d probably dead or in jail.”