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9/11 inspires Indian man to join US army
Rediff ^ | June 04, 2008 | Rediff

Posted on 06/04/2008 10:48:44 PM PDT by CarrotAndStick


    Sandeep Singh

June 04, 2008

The Department of Homeland Security last week showcased an India-born soldier, one of the six foreign-born members of the military, at a special naturalisation ceremony for new citizens of the United States.

Ludhiana-born Sandeep Singh, 23, a soldier in the US Army's 3rd US Infantry Continental Color Guard Team, said he had "followed his desire to serve his adopted nation after the terrorist attacks of 9/11."

He was among 26 men and women from 21 countries who were administered the Oath of Allegiance by Jonathan 'Jock' Scharfen, acting director of the US Citizenship and Immigration Service, an appendage of the DHS, in the ceremony at the National Mall.

It was only the third time in US history that such an event had taken place on these grounds, which are bounded by the Smithsonian museums; the event was part of various activities connected with the celebration of Public Service Recognition Week.

Singh, who came to the US at age 10, was raised in Queens, New York, and attended William Colin Bryant High School in Long Island, told that he was so angered by the 9/11 terrorist attacks that he vowed to join the army as soon as he was eligible.

"Growing up in India, I had seen acts of terrorism in India, mainly in Kashmir, perpetrated by Pakistan-sponsored terrorists, and of course, lots of it in Punjab by the Khalistani movement, and I was so tired of it," Singh said. "But what was really the straw that broke the camel's back was when 9/11 happened, where I had friends who lost their siblings or relatives.

"This was what really triggered my desire to join the army," said Singh, who is yet to be deployed in the ongoing battles in Iraq and Afghanistan. "I am rearing to go as soon as I am called up. Wherever the needs of the army are, I am ready to go and it will be my honour to go wherever they send me," he said.


He is currently doing his undergraduate degree in the American Military University, located on the base in Fort Myer, Arlington, Virginia. Though yet to shed his rookie status, his dreams are larger than life size. "I hope to make general one day. I am going to college now and I am going to focus on my studies, but hopefully in the next 20 or so years, I'll be able to get there."

His parents -- father Sukhwant Singh, who is in construction, and mother Jagdev, a homemaker -- were strongly against his desire to join the army, "more so at this time, with the deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan. And they are aware of the fact that the infantry is the most hazardous occupation in the military."

"I got the traditional rhetoric from them about why I couldn't become a doctor or engineer and so on. But this country is all about the pursuit of happiness, doing what you want to do, and that's what I am going for. You have to do what you have to do," he said.

Singh's parents were not present at the ceremony, but several of his fellow specialists from the 3rd US Infantry were on hand to applaud when his name was called and he went up to be congratulated and handed his citizenship certificate.

He pointed out that he was not tempted to join the army by the blandishments of army recruiters who routinely visit high schools. "Growing up, it was just something I wanted to do -- wear the uniform and be part of something bigger than myself. That was what I was striving for, I guess."

Two civilians of Indian origin -- Philip George, an information technology specialist from Ashburn, Virginia, and Hira Panth, a teacher from Lorton, Virginia -- were among those who became new-minted US citizens on the same day.

Madras-born George, who works for Pepco, a Virginia power company, told, "It's a privilege to become a US citizen and more so at a special ceremony like this."

Echoing those sentiments, Panth, who teaches creative arts and play music in a child development programme called Gymboree, said, "It's not every day that one has the privilege of being sworn in at such a special ceremony and of being part of this small select group."

Turning to Singh and the other foreign-born military officers who were naturalised, Scharfen said, "As evidenced by the members of the armed forces who have been naturalised today, there are immigrants who have already put their lives on the line for their adopted nation, and others have made the ultimate sacrifice in our defence."

TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: army; citizenship; india; indianamericans; naturalization; september12era; us

1 posted on 06/04/2008 10:48:45 PM PDT by CarrotAndStick
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To: CarrotAndStick

Congrats, soldier.

2 posted on 06/04/2008 10:56:18 PM PDT by canadianally
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To: CarrotAndStick

A great guy, and we need more like him. It makes me sick that immigrants from India, who tend to be EXTREMELY skilled, well-educated, English-speaking, eager to assimilate, and are over-represented among doctors, computer programmers, and engineers, are denied a place at the table by a bunch of illiterate, unskilled peasants who could easily be replaced by native born losers by cutting off social programs and making otherwise-worthless inmates work for their meals.

Kick out all the illegals and bring in more immigrants from India. We have more unskilled retards than we know what to do with. We need BRAINS.

3 posted on 06/04/2008 11:06:55 PM PDT by lesser_satan (Cthulu '08! Why vote for the lesser evil?)
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To: lesser_satan

See Bobby Jindal...the next president in 2012.

Indian-born, conservative and right-wing..PLUS won Louisiana in a LANDSLIDE for Governor.

4 posted on 06/04/2008 11:21:27 PM PDT by max americana
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To: CarrotAndStick
What a great story! The very best of luck to Mr. Singh and many thanks for his service to our country.
5 posted on 06/04/2008 11:26:33 PM PDT by singfreedom
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To: singfreedom

Singh is a Sikh name, the Sikhs are a warrior people and have fought Islam since centuries.

6 posted on 06/04/2008 11:37:10 PM PDT by SolidWood (Refusal to vote for McCain is active support of Obama. Period.)
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To: CarrotAndStick

This man has every right to be as proud of his Indian heritage as he wants, but he’s an American to the bone.

Welcome Aboard Soldier. May you live long and achieve all that the American Dream means.

7 posted on 06/04/2008 11:43:49 PM PDT by Grimmy (equivocation is but the first step along the road to capitulation)
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To: lesser_satan
I live in the area of the country with the highest concentration of Indians in North American (the Route 1 corridor in Central Jersey). I second your thoughts.

Congrats to Mr. Singh, a member of a great warrior faith that has been fighting the Muslims for centuries.

8 posted on 06/04/2008 11:52:27 PM PDT by Clemenza (No Comment)
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To: SolidWood
I wondered if he wasn't Sikh. I knew most Indians of that name were. Warriors they are most certainly. My husband spent quite a few years in the India/Pakistan area while he was in the Army. He speaks Urdu, much to the shock of any Pakis/Indians we meet.
9 posted on 06/04/2008 11:57:37 PM PDT by singfreedom
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To: CarrotAndStick

Hundreds attend funeral of Indian-born U.S. soldier killed in Iraq
YAHOO NEWS ^ | 4th September, 2005

Posted on Sunday, September 04, 2005 12:24:15 PM by Paul Ciniraj

AHMEDABAD, India (Reuters) - Hundreds of grieving Muslims on Sunday attended the funeral of an Indian-born U.S. soldier killed in a rocket attack in Iraq last month.

The body of 23-year-old Hatim Kathiria was flown to Dahod in Gujarat on Sunday, accompanied by U.S. officials and his wife, Lissy Jean-Pierre.

“He was my only son. His ambitions took him to the U.S. and then to Iraq. We lost him, but he died a martyr’s death,” said a grief-stricken Shirin, Kathiria’s mother.

More than 2,000 people thronged the streets of the Muslim-dominated town, south of the state capital, Gandhinagar, shouting “long live the Indian martyr” and showering flower petals on the wooden coffin.........

10 posted on 06/05/2008 5:00:52 AM PDT by Valin
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To: lesser_satan

I’ll take a few million educated English speaking Hindu Indians any day of the week..... Take them over a few million non English speaking peasants from Mexico and Central America.

One group is a positive
One is a negative

11 posted on 06/05/2008 5:08:32 AM PDT by dennisw
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To: Valin

12 posted on 06/05/2008 5:14:27 AM PDT by CarrotAndStick (The articles posted by me needn't necessarily reflect my opinion.)
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To: max americana
See Bobby Jindal...the next president in 2012.

Indian-born, conservative and right-wing..PLUS won Louisiana in a LANDSLIDE for Governor.

If he's Indian-born, he can't be President. Unless you've decided to made the US some surprise rule switch Reality show now - (Does explain the Primaries)

13 posted on 06/05/2008 9:58:34 AM PDT by Oztrich Boy (Society is well governed when the people obey the magistrates, and the magistrates obey the law)
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