Help for Deported Veterans at the Bunker

12/30/19 TIJUANA, Baja California, Mexico – In a neighborhood just south of San Diego stands a narrow, two-story home connected to a tire shop. It’s where U.S. military veterans go after the country they served deports them and there’s nowhere else to turn.
The Bunker offers food, clothing, connection to legal aid, help with Department of Veterans Affairs benefits and even temporary shelter. The center relies on donations to stay afloat, but sometimes Barajas-Varela and Varona have to dip into their own pockets.
Officially known as the Deported Veterans Support House, the Bunker is adorned with U.S. flags. Portraits of deported men and women in uniform line the wall above the staircase. Medals, uniforms, photos and discharge papers form a collage of lives spent in the service of a nation that was never legally theirs.