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African native joins Marines to be with family
Marine Corps News ^ | Aug 11, 2005 | Lance Cpl. Ray Lewis

Posted on 08/11/2005 4:15:07 PM PDT by SandRat

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (Aug. 11, 2005) -- People join the Marine Corps for many different reasons.

Some join for money, some for freedom, and some even join for a place to live.

Others, like Cpl. Mediya A. Abakar, joined the Marine Corps to reunite with their family.

“Family is precious. Everything comes and goes except family,” Abakar said.

So Abakar left Chad, Africa, for the United States to be closer to her two brothers in the Marines and two sisters in the Navy.

Living with her aunt, Abakar found she could be closer to her family and make a better life for her self at Iowa Western University.

It was there where she studied Architect Engineering Technology as well as another language - English.

“I come from a third world country where they don’t speak English,” Abakar said.

“I had to learn English on top of what I was going to school for,” she added.

But when four of her siblings ended up in the Middle East after the 9/11 attacks, Abakar thought of more than her self.

“I’m the oldest, I was supposed to be the first in harm’s way,” Abakar said.

With only the clothes on her back and the shoes on her feet, Abakar dropped the books and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps.

Quickly, Abakar realized she got more than she bargained for – as most recruits do.

“I wanted to be a doctor, (but) found out the Marine Corps didn’t have corpsmen when I was in boot camp,” laughed Abakar who is supply.

Shortly after boot camp, Abakar took a linguist class to expand her versatility in the Marine Corps.

In January 2004, mid-stride of the class, she was told she would be deploying in a month in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

While in Iraq, Abakar was told that her tour would run longer than expected.

“They told me I would be there for 14 months because they were short on linguists,” Abakar said.

For Abakar, the future seemed dim until she finally was reunited with her family February 2005.

“I met my brother in Kuwait by accident – he was going to Iraq when I leaving,” Abakar said.

Even though Abakar only spent two hours with her brother, she said it was worth it.

“At least I got to see one of my family members,” Abakar said.

“If you have family in the military (cherish them) because you never know what their future (holds),” Abakar said.

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; US: California
KEYWORDS: african; camppendleton; family; joins; marines; native; translators

1 posted on 08/11/2005 4:15:14 PM PDT by SandRat
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To: SandRat

A good read bump!

2 posted on 08/11/2005 4:17:12 PM PDT by MinorityRepublican
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To: SandRat

Members of the armed services who are legal aliens should get a fast-track to citizenship, or at least get free tutoring in English and help studying for the citizenship test.

3 posted on 08/11/2005 4:31:45 PM PDT by Spok
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To: SandRat

Excellent post -- thanks. I recently completed some duty with an African immigrant who's on active duty as an Army combat engineer with the 101st Airborne Division -- an impressive guy. Meeting people like this is one of the perks of U.S. military service.

4 posted on 08/11/2005 4:41:27 PM PDT by 68skylark
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