A repair shop in Houston has stepped in to help a disabled Marine veteran after his car was vandalized last month.
Hector Cortez, 28, served two tours in Iraq as a lance corporal in the Marines. He is unable to work and uses a service dog, Rusty, to keep his post-traumatic stress disorder under control. Last month, he awoke to find the mirrors on his 1996 Ford Escort painted black. Vandals scrawled ethnic slurs and foul language across the car and stomped the bumpers.
"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 told KHOU.
Cortez currently lives on his military pension and was unable to afford a new paint job. He was deeply embarrassed to drive his car covered with insults. ABC 13 reports at least 10 local body shops offered to paint the car for free, and ultimately employees at Mason Road and Collision in Houston performed the service. They repainted the Ford free of charge in honor of Cortez's service in the military.
"I'm used to being the one to do things for other people, and I never really expected anything in return," an emotional Cortez told the station.
Other cars at West Houston Apartments complex in Houston have been vandalized in recent weeks, but his was the only one targeted that particular weekend.