Skip to comments.Face of Defense: Nigerian Native Serves With Pride as American Soldier
Posted on 12/07/2007 3:33:53 PM PST by SandRat
| FORWARD OPERATING BASE KALSU, Iraq, Dec. 7, 2007 Army Staff Sgt. Obinna Awusahs peers say he goes the extra mile to accomplish a mission and always places the needs of others before his own, all with a smile on his face and large sense of patriotism in his heart.
Now a generator mechanic in Company B, 26th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Awusah earned a bachelors degree in electronics from Wayne State University, in Detroit. He settled into a civilian job in Maryland and became a supervisor at an electronics company. However, Iraqi dictator Saddam Husseins invasion of Kuwait in the summer of 1990 changed Awusahs life.
In 1991, Awusah was watching the news in his Maryland home when he saw a woman crying during an interview because she had just been called back to the Army from the Inactive Ready Reserve. She was a new mom and was being called back to active service to deploy.
Awusah recalled feeling so bad that he called a recruiter and asked if the war was so bad that moms had to be taken away from their babies; the recruiter said it was. Awusah decided then that if the Army needed him, he would help.
Later that afternoon, Awusah was in the recruiters office in Brandywine, Md.
That was the fastest Ive seen paperwork get done in the Army, Awusah said. I would have gone to basic training that night if I would have got my (general technician) exam done.
Thats just how he is; he really cares for people, said Sgt. 1st Class Robert Spears, Awusahs squad leader.
Sixteen years later, Awusah, who came to 26th BSB in January 2007 and is on his second Iraq deployment, is an advocate of what the United States and the Army can provide.
Sergeant Awusah is the kind of guy that brightens your day no matter what is going on, Lt. Col. Mark Weinerth, 26th BSB commander, said.
Awusah said he attributes all of his gains in life to becoming an American citizen and to joining the Army. He encourages his soldiers to take advantage of programs the Army offers to assist in taking college courses.
Awusah said the Army opens up more possibilities for soldiers. He said the military allows a soldier to choose many career paths in the civilian world. He is also an ally for any re-enlistment counselor. When a soldier is thinking about leaving the Army, Awusah makes sure they have an outlook for the future.
I encourage them to re-enlist based on their plans. If they have a good plan for leaving the Army, then I encourage that. I try and give them examples; I let them know the Army is the kindest community youll have, he said. I make sure they know that other organizations dont have programs like (Army Emergency Relief). I let them know that, if you need help, the Army is always there to help; most organizations wont do that.
Spears said Awusah takes a positive approach to everything. Hes always smiling and laughing, Spears said. The only thing that upsets him is when leaders dont take care of soldiers. Greed is not involved in his life. Hes caring, and he has concern for his fellow soldiers.
If a new soldier arrives to the unit, Awusah will make the soldier feel welcome. The best way to compliment them is to shake their hand and tell them they are good American soldiers. You need to thank them for sacrificing their youthful age for their country, he said.
When it comes to soldiering skills, Awusah also sets the bar high. At 44 years of age, he can still run about 14 minutes in the 2-mile run during the Army physical fitness test.
Hes a (physical training) stud, Spears said. He definitely leads from the front. I knew right away that he was going to be a plus for the company.
In four years, Awusah will be eligible for retirement, but his squad leader does not think Awusah will be ready to leave the organization that, in his words, has given him so much. Hell probably stay in the Army until Uncle Sam puts him out, Spears said.
(Army Sgt. Jason Stadel is assigned to 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division.)
another one that makes me proud to be an American!
Thanks for posting
Good story! Lots of Africans make excellent Americans.
I am a Soldiers’ Angel and have a solier that I support who is from Togo. He’s been in the Army about 3 yrs. and is also a very dedicated and excellent soldier according to his commander. He is a very nice gentleman, speaks 3 languages, and is wonderful to know. I e-mail alot and he has beautiful English.
That’s great. Back in Tulsa, we had several African priests and seminarians ... terrific guys.