Skip to comments.More Than 190 Troops Earn U.S. Citizenship in Iraq
Posted on 09/02/2008 7:19:23 PM PDT by SandRat
| BAGHDAD, Sept. 2, 2008 American citizenship became a reality for 192 U.S. servicemembers from 54 different countries during a ceremony yesterday at Al Faw Palace on Camp Victory here.
"I am extremely honored to preside over such an important event for these great men and women," Austin said. "Today, we have the opportunity to welcome 192 of our fellow brothers and sisters in arms into our American family."
Austin took time to individually recognize two troops, Marine Corps Sgt. Sidney King III and Army Spc. Alan Wyrwa, both of whom overcame numerous challenges to become U.S. citizens.
Wyrwa lived in communist-controlled East Germany until he and his mother risked their lives escaping to West Germany when he was 5 years old. King came to the United States in 1988 and spent his first five years separated from his parents. He worked tirelessly to obtain a visitor's visa, and later a green card, to stay in the United States. For the last nine years, he has served in the Marine Corps.
For many, the event was the highlight of a lifetime and the beginning of many new opportunities.
"I can't describe my feelings," said Army Spc. Steven Chol, interpreter for the corps command sergeant major's personal security detachment, originally from Sudan. "I'm so happy for what happened today, becoming a U.S. citizen.
Togo native Army Spc. Dodji Kuwonu, a 10th Mountain Division cannon crewmember with 5-25th Field Artillery Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, said citizenship is a big step toward future ambitions. "I'm proud to be an American," Kuwonu said. "I've got a lot of opportunities now. A lot of doors are open for me."
Austin echoed that sentiment in his remarks to the new citizens.
"Each of you has opened a door of opportunity through your own hard work, and through the support of your families and loved ones," the general said. "Today, each of you has achieved a significant goal, and I know it wasn't easy, but the great news is that you aren't at the end of your journey you are at the beginning of a new one."
(Army Spc. Christopher M. Gaylord serves with the 13th Public Affairs Detachment.)
Army Lt. Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III
Welcome to America.
DAMN STRAIGHT !
They earned it ! Glad to have such men and women who have proven they are willing to fight for their new country !
God Bless em all !
Congrats on my fellow Americans. They more than earned it.
Absolutely. Those who serve on the battlefield earn it more clearly than those of us casual citizens.
Congrats to my fellow Americans, I’ll lift a beer to ‘em tomorrow!
Immigrants I’m happy to see added to the fabric of the United States of America!
Welcome aboard! They earned it. And to think that many politicians, including prominent politicians in our own party, would bestow the exact same gift that these brave people fought to earn on people who ignore our laws.
Starship Troopers - A travesty of a movie and one of the finest books I have ever read. I give a copy to every new officer candidate I meet.
I didn’t know foreigners could fight for our country... I guess you learn something new everyday... and yeah... welcome to America...
Agreed! Still it managed to not be the worst adaptation or the written word to the silver screen.
That "honor" belongs to the so-called "Isaac Asimov's Nightfall"
I give a copy to every new officer candidate I meet.
I haven’t gotten around to reading the book yet but i LOVED the movie.
I bet the books a million times better though.
One of my all time favorites. If you like SciFi it’s a must read. I’m too young to remember the original release but it caused quite a stir. Probably because it was a pro military narrative during an anti military era (the contemptable 60s).
Read it- I’m sure you’ll like it.
And relevant to the original post; I think if you’ll fight for us you deserve to join us.
Are you Sgt Zim?
While I appreciate their willingness to fight on behalf of the U.S.A. and thank them for their service, I have mixed feelings, especially because of the WOT, about non-citizens being a part of our military.
We couldn’t ask for better citizens! God bless em all!
I wish - I think I went through the same learning process as Johnny Rico (never the easy way) and would love to believe I have the wisdom of Lt Col Dubois. Who do you see yourself as?
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