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Ft. Bragg Soldier Fighting to Save Wife from Deportation

Ft. Bragg Soldier Fighting to Save Wife from Deportation

Ft. Bragg Soldier Fighting to Save Wife from Deportation

By Debbie Gregory

A routine traffic stop near Fort Bragg, North Carolina has resulted in the possible deportation of a U.S. Army spouse.

Army Staff Sgt. Felix Vega, who has served in the Army for almost 15 years, is fighting to keep his wife, Yadira Fuentes-Paz, in the country.

A citizen of Honduras, Fuentes-Paz was sold to a man by her mother and brought to the U.S. when she was only four years old. At 13 years old, Fuentes-Paz was homeless. A felony drug-trafficking charge at 21 led to her 2001 deportation and separation from her two young children, who were both U.S. citizens.

In 2004, Fuentes-Paz illegally re-entered the U.S. through Mexico.

Vega and Fuentes-Paz married in 2015, and she has been a Defense Department ID card holder since then.

In addition to being a military spouse, Fuentes-Paz is also a military mom, as her 24-year-old son is a Marine Corps sergeant.

“I’m willing to do anything for her,” said Vega, who is in the process of PCSing to Fort Lee, VA. “They said they were detaining her because she was a fugitive from ICE, but we were doing all the proper paperwork for her to get legal status so I never understood why they’d have her categorized under that.”

Vega has set up a GoFundMe  page to help the couple with their legal fees. To date, the fund has reached $3,400 of the $10,000 goal. 

Military spouses, parents, and children who entered the U.S. illegally are often eligible for Parole in Place, allowing these family members of military and veterans to avoid deportation and apply for a green card while staying in the U.S. But the granting of parole in place is discretionary.  Therefore, criminal conduct, prior immigration violations, or other adverse factors that are revealed through the application process could affect the decision.

It is unclear how Fuentes-Paz’s previous felony conviction and deportation could impact her eligibility.

 

Music Video Showcases Military Life, From Basic to Active Duty

Michele Dèniz

By Debbie Gregory.

The song “Lion Heart” was written about overcoming fears, about standing up in the face of adversity and not backing down. These are actions that U.S. Air Force Veteran Michele Déniz know well.

And now, Déniz has released an emotional video for her song,  dedicated to U.S. military and veterans, focusing on the courage it takes to wear the uniform.

The video chronicles the journey from basic training to active duty, and features thrilling footage from every branch of the service. It’s a powerful and heartfelt tribute not only to our men and women in uniform, but to Michele’s incredible life and journey. The video is a refreshingly positive and uplifting message for the men and women that so often go unnoticed.

For Michele, being a “Lion Heart” embodies the values and characteristics of every soldier. It takes a Lion Heart to put your life on the line if Uncle Sam asks you to – to defend our nation, to leave their families for months or years at a time.

Through her song, Michele’s ultimate goal is to raise awareness for her brothers and sisters in arms, and for the veterans who have sacrificed so much to protect our freedoms.

Michele’s entire adult life has been shaped by the military; in addition to being a veteran, she is a military spouse and military mom. Her music reflects the life of a woman always on the move, always willing to give everything up for family and country. She is truly inspiring and a reminder of what is possible when you set your mind to something and give everything of yourself to make it happen. That’s what it means to be a Lion Heart.

To watch the video, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAxPCkuxKHY or Michele’s official website at www.micheledeniz.com.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.