One of my uncles, who is Mexican, gained his US citizenship by fighting in the Korean War for the Army. I still don't know how exactly he managed that, but while I was doing some cursory research, I came across this:
June 06, 2005
José M. Lopez
José Mendoza Lopez, a retired Army master sergeant who single-handedly killed more than 100 German soldiers during World War II, died on May 16. Cause of death was not released. He was 94.
Born in Santiago Huitlan, Mexico, Lopez was orphaned at the age of eight. He made his way to Mission, Texas, where a local family let him sleep in their shed. (Doesn't exactly sound like he went through the proper channels to get here, but who knows, eh?) Lopez worked a variety of jobs to survive, and even boxed lightweight under the name "Kid Mendoza," then falsified his birth certificate to join the merchant marines.
Lopez enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1942 and fought in the European theatre. He landed at Normandy a day after the June 6, 1944 invasion and was racing onto the beach when a bullet grazed his hip; the wound earned him a Purple Heart. Six months later, Lopez received a Congressional Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military accolade, for his heroic actions in the opening days of the Battle of the Bulge.
On Dec. 17, 1944, Lopez was a sergeant serving with the 23rd Infantry, 2nd Infantry Division. He and his men were outside Krinkelt, Belgium, when a German infantry and armor division attacked. Lopez jumped into a shallow hole in the snow-covered ground and used his heavy machine gun to mow down 10 German soldiers. He took three shell blasts from the German's Tiger tank and suffered a concussion, but continued to fight, shooting 25 more soldiers in the process.
Lopez then repositioned himself to fight off the Germans that were trying to get around his flank. He killed another 65 enemy soldiers in order to give the members of his unit time to retreat. Lopez returned to the site of the battle nearly 50 years later with journalist Bill Moyers and a PBS documentary film crew. When asked if he considered himself to be a brave man, Lopez said: "… I believe any man would do the same thing, anybody."
Lopez fought in Korea until a ranking officer found out he was a Medal of Honor recipient. He was then ordered to move to the rear and register the dead for burial. After returning to the states, Lopez worked as a recruiter and groundskeeper. He eventually became a supervisor and oversaw large crews of maintenance personnel. To honor his "gallantry beyond the call of duty," the city of Mission named a street and park after him