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Posted: 10/17/2004 3:46:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/17/2004 3:47:28 PM EDT by hepcat85]
These people are the best we have. I'm proud to call them fellow Americans.


<­font size=5>Stryker Soldiers Become U.S. Citizens

September 23, 2004

By Keith Eldridge

FORT LEWIS - Local soldiers who are about to be sent to Iraq are taking something brand new with them; their U.S. citizenship.

The men are members of an elite group of soldiers from Fort Lewis who are willing to die for a country that is not officially theirs.

"I can honestly say this is one of the proudest days in my life," says Spec. Theopolis Abraham.

These ten Stryker soldiers are just days away from being sent to the tense fighting in Iraq, yet they are all smiles because they are about to become naturalized citizens.

Gustavo Peredes-Mejia had no second thoughts about volunteering for duty even though the U.S. wasn't officially his country.

"This is like my way of saying 'thanks' to this country that has given me so much and this is my way to thank it since it has so many opportunities that all of the people don't have them," he says.

Peredes-Mejia points to his birthplace El Salvador. He and his parents fled to America because of all the internal warfare.

"Which is in my country, El Salvador, they don't have this opportunity. I'm glad I have it here," he says.

The flag is an important symbol to him. "It means a nation, that's what it means to me. A nation united in this conflict, especially in Iraq."

These are just a few of the Strykers who didn't have their U.S. citizenship. In all, 108 Strykers were willing to serve in uniform without having their citizenship.

They're all part of the Stryker brigade heading to Iraq to take the place of the first Strykers who went over from Fort Lewis.

Stryker commander Col. Robert Brown says, "Their commitment to America humbles me and all of the leaders and strengthens our confidence in the future of America."

It is a simple ceremony, but it is one these soldiers will vividly remember as they head to Iraq as new United States Citizens.

Article here

Link Posted: 10/17/2004 3:55:50 PM EDT
Wow, I have a lot of respect for people that will defend a nation under which flag they were not born, and are willing to die for just shortly after becoming a citizen. Hat's off, flag waved.
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 4:02:28 PM EDT
Most of us in the USA don't know what other people in other countries have to do to survive. We've are really spoiled and got it real easy here in the USA.

God Bless the USA!
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 4:04:13 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/17/2004 4:04:33 PM EDT by bulldog1967]
I'll take several hundred thousand of THESE kind of immigrants ANY day!

Semper FI!
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 4:11:01 PM EDT
There are numerous foriegn nationals that served in WWII, Korea, & Vietnam and did not receive citizenship. I think it sucks that these men served in combat and never received citizenship. Military service should be one of the few (very few) ways to earn US citizenship.

"What you permit, you promote"
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 4:17:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/17/2004 5:16:27 PM EDT by warlord]
HighPlainsDrifter: Yep, I agree.

USA citizenship is quite coveted around the world.
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 4:55:14 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/17/2004 4:55:59 PM EDT by hepcat85]
My dad, a German citzen, was drafted and sent to Europe as a translator. Long after he was deployed his CO discovered he wasn't a citizen. They were in the field at the time on high alert (it was during the Cuban Missile Crisis) and his CO took him behind the CP and swore him in as a citizen and filled out his paper work. Hush-hush like.
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 4:58:37 PM EDT

Originally Posted By bulldog1967:
I'll take several hundred thousand of THESE kind of immigrants ANY day!

Semper FI!

Link Posted: 10/17/2004 5:01:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/17/2004 5:01:39 PM EDT by spm681]
A friend who just returned from a Iraq is a Captain with the 1st marines and he said he had several non'citizens in his company. He spoke very highly of them and their willingness to fight for a country that is not ever theirs. Soon it will be. This is always nice to hear.
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 5:07:48 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/17/2004 5:13:51 PM EDT by DOW]
My Grandfather on my Mother's side got off the boat at Ellis Island, was processed, and was promptly measured for a uniform. The year was 1917. Guess who's ass was in a trench in France a few months later? Yep - Grandpa. True story.
If only more modern day immigrants were anything like those depicted in the article and my Grandpa. God bless them both.
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