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?
Johnny Rico. If I can’t identify with the hero of a book or movie I usually don’t enjoy it.
And having been an enlisted Marine I had to identify with Mobile Infantry.
Lt Col Dubois was my second favorite character in the book. It could have been a great movie if done well and stayed true to the book.
I think the most important theme in the book was earned citizenship. What we have now is not working out so good. Freeloader’s votes count as much as anyone else’s. That ‘s not what the Founders intended.
These 190 served in our armed forces to defend our nation in a time of war. They have earned the right of citizenship more than the crackheads, stoners, welfare recipients, and moral degenerates that continue to elect Pelosi and her ilk.
I couldn’t agree more: earn it - not necessarily by learning civics lessons, either. By serving. “But what about people who can’t physically serve, yadda yadda yadda?”. Very narrowly delineated exceptions - flat feet doesn’t cut it. And if you want to get a college deferment, fine: add a year to your mandatory service for each year you defer.
The bottom line is, we have to ask what the sacred privileges of citizenship are truly worth.
...and thanks for your service, .44
Thanks to you for yours. I did 4 years. You did at least 20.
Coming up on 24 total - still pulling reserve duty.
“I couldnt agree more: earn it - not necessarily by learning civics lessons, either. By serving. But what about people who cant physically serve, yadda yadda yadda?. Very narrowly delineated exceptions - flat feet doesnt cut it. And if you want to get a college deferment, fine: add a year to your mandatory service for each year you defer.”
Very good ideas. My father was turned down because of flat feet for all branches of the military during WW II. He served in the Merchant Marines during WW II and some years after.
I got out a Corporal (E-4). If I’d stayed in any longer I would have been an E-1. Too much fun off duty the last six months or so and a fight on duty prior to that.
Citizenship should not be for sale. What a way for a terrorist or drug cartel member to become a citizen. Cartels have been know to place their members in the military and recruit from them. History Channel had an interesting program on gangs infiltrating our military.
As a former Circuit Defense Counsel, I hear ya - and represented a bunch just like ya! It took me 4 tries to get in, due to an eye issue, so I consider every day I get to serve a privilege and a blessing.
“As a former Circuit Defense Counsel, I hear ya - and represented a bunch just like ya!
Things never got to the point where I needed the services you offered mainly due to the senior staff NCOs of the units I served in. I owe my final rank more to E-8s and E-9s than I do to my actions.
“Citizenship should not be for sale. What a way for a terrorist or drug cartel member to become a citizen. Cartels have been know to place their members in the military and recruit from them. History Channel had an interesting program on gangs infiltrating our military.”
I agree 100%. But what’s more serious is them stealing a quasi citizenship by sneaking across the border and stealing identities. That’s resulted in millions of illegals here wreaking untold damage to our economy and health care industry.
The stories of gangs and disrupters in our military I remember mainly concerned American citizens or legal residents. I didn’t see the History Channel program so it could prove me wrong. And from my time in the Marines in the 70s most of the problem children were American citizens that abused drugs and/or alcohol or were just unhappy about being in.
At least these new citizens have earned their citizenship and performed a valuable service to our country. I welcome them. And it’s been my experience that most former military tend to be conservative. A win-win for them and our country IMO.