HOUSTON -

A retired Marine is trying to scrape together his funds after someone vandalized his car outside his west Houston apartment.

The vandals struck sometime overnight Saturday night at the complex near I-10 and Dairy Ashford.

"I've never been so embarrassed in my life," said Hector Cortez. "Just driving this car to go and get something to wipe all of it off."

Cortez shared several pictures of the vandalism with Local 2. We blurred out the most offensive images, which were curse words and racial epithets. The culprits also left damage on the front and rear bumpers.

"The same loser who decided to do this would be the same loser that I have no problem dying for overseas," said Cortez. "Just so he could have that right to free speech."

Cortez served two tours in Iraq. These days he has his faithful support dog Rusty to help him cope with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, incurred after suffering Traumatic Brain Injury from a roadside bomb.

As a disabled vet who lives on a military disability pension, Cortez is struggling to find the money to repair his only car. But he says he's determined to wipe away the remnants of a cowardly crime.

"I would honestly rather starve and use my money to take those crap words off of my car," Cortez said.