Local 2 viewer responds to help Marine with vandalized car in big way

Within minutes of the story airing dozens of people wanted to help him

By Courtney Zavala - Houston Life host

HOUSTON - On Monday Local 2 featured a story about a former Marine whose car was senselessly vandalized, and now a viewer has stepped up to help.

"We'll make this baby look beautiful for you again," said Nick Tajian, owner of Mason Road Collision Auto Center in Katy.

Tajian was overcome with emotion when he saw Hector Cortez's story on Local 2.

"What this young man has done for us that's the least I can do for him. I go to bed at night knowing a young man like him fights for our freedom," said Tajian.

Hector Cortez is a retired LCPL with the United States Marine Corp. He served two tours in Iraq and he suffers from PTSD. Cortez saved up enough money to buy his used car for $1,000 a few months ago only to have it defaced by vandals.

Within minutes of his story airing dozens of people wanted to help him.

"The cry for help has been heard," said Cortez.

After a walk around the car, Tajian decides he's not stopping at repainting.

"We will put brand new stripes on. Black out the mirrors, fix the front, make it look beautiful for him," said Tajian.

"I have no idea how I'm going to repay you or how I can thank you any much more but... thank you!" said Cortez.

Cortez is a tough guy, he fought on the front lines as an infantry machine gunner but today he's overcome with emotion.

"It's a great day. I'm sorry; excuse me I'm not used to people helping me. There's no real way for me to explain how I feel. I'm happy, I'm blessed at the same time I'm humbled," said Cortez.

It's going to take about 10 days for the repairs. In the meantime Tajian also provided a loaner car so Cortez could still drive around.

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