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      Valley veteran TMs one step closer to full-service hospital

      Treto Garza fought as a U.S. Marine in the Vietnam war.

      He never imagined he'd return home to a different type of battle.

      "War is hell, said Garza. When we come back, they want to forget about us, and it does not work that way.

      Garza and other Valley veterans feel they've been forgotten.

      "It's been a long time, said Garza. We're desperate.

      A serious illness requires Valley veterans to travel to San Antonio.

      "It takes a good five hours to get there, and then you have to wait in line, said Garza.

      Garza struggled 23 years for a local hospital.

      "A lot of these local congressmen weren't doing anything, said Garza.

      Now Garza TMs efforts are gaining ground.

      Garza believes a local letter writing campaign aimed at the Committee on Veterans TM Affairs helped convince the U.S. House of Representatives to pass a bill that would fund a full-service V.A. hospital.

      "If the other bill comes in, then we can really celebrate, said Garza. The next struggle is the U.S. Senate.

      Garza said he and his comrades are prepared to wage another war.

      Pens and postage stamps are their ammunition.

      The Senate version of this bill is set to be considered June 29th.

      Garza is accepting donations of postage stamps for his next letter writing campaign.

      To donate, email Treto Garza at