Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Soldiers fighting for U.S. become citizens

"Posted: November 13, 2007 1:00 a.m. Eastern
Matt Sanchez
Editor's note: Reporter Matt Sanchez, currently embedding with military units throughout both Iraq and Afghanistan, has been providing WND readers with a glimpse into the Iraq war most Americans have never seen.
By Matt Sanchez © 2007 WorldNetDaily.com
Photo : Matt Sanchez
At Airbase Anaconda in Iraq, Brig. Gen. Gregory Couch pondered the irony, 'We're swearing in new American citizens in one of Saddam Hussein's theaters, a place that was accustomed to a different type of spectacle.' For Veteran's Day 2007, 178 U.S. military men and women serving in Iraq became citizens of the country for which they are fighting, the United States. Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff made the trip to Iraq's largest airbase to preside over the legalization ceremony of servicemen and women who traced their birthplaces to more than 53 nations scattered around the globe. ...

... One applicant, Army Staff Sgt. Daniel Brownie with 82nd Airborne, 2nd Brigade out of Fort Bragg, N. C., was born in Alberta, Canada. After middle school, high school and now the Army, Daniel has lived in the United States for most of his life.
But how did this Canadian national feel about being in Iraq and serving a country where he did not have the right to vote?
"I support our mission, I signed up for this," said Brownie. "I wanted to be a part of something greater than myself."
It's a little publicized fact many Canadians crossed the border to enlist in the U.S. military during the Vietnam War.
Of course, joining the American military meant the possibility of serving in a combat zone. Why not stay in Canada and join that service?
"I couldn't stand up tall and tell people 'I'm in the Canadian Army,'" he said. "I didn't even know they had an army."
Canadian military action is poorly viewed by a French and English-speaking public that gets nosebleeds just reading about the American military. So, how did Brownie come to have a different opinion about the American military machine?
"I love to be able to say I'm a part of the strongest military in the world."
The staff sergeant actually re-enlisted on the 4th of July this year.
When asked his opinion on the current illegal immigration debate, he was straight-forward. "I work in the Army and I have to go through the system, everyone else should go through the system too."
The general opinion of the men and women who finally arrived at their destination after a long journey is that citizenship is something to be earned.
During the initial press conference before the naturalization ceremony, a reporter from Newsweek asked, "Has there been any evidence of people joining the military just to get citizenship?"
Chertoff and most of the members of the military in the room openly laughed.
"There are far easier ways of doing it," Brig. Gen. Couch said.
He's right. Those who serve and risk their lives for a country not entirely their own have taken a harder test to naturalization than anyone else. Many servicemen killed in action have been posthumously granted citizenship.
"It's a privilege to become an American," said Brownie."

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Anonymous said...

Considering the Canadian Army is fighting in the violent south of Afghanistan in support of our NATO allies including the United States, your article belittling the Canadian military is hardly worthy of a friend and ally. I can appreciate that foreign nationals have joined the US military and become proud US citizens in the process - insulting the hard fighting Canadian forces doesn't win you many new friends in this world, as you do need them like never before.

Mesa Wendy said...

The article does not belittle the Canadian army -- it offers a direct quote made by one Canadian who has joined the US army and comments on some of the views of other nations.
You have apparently read something here that does not exist. Incidently -- I AM a Canadian and a supporter of our hard fighting troops on either side of the border.

kursk said...

I am glad this Sgt.is living his dream. However, it seems a pretty lame excuse that he would feel underappreciated by joining our military.Canada has a long and proud fighting history. There is the old soldier in me that wants to tell the man it's a priveledge serving the country that raised and nurtured you as well.

I do have a problem with others that denigrate our armed forces only to join another nations army.Perhaps if they put more effort into supporting and growing a military closer to home, it would be better for all of us in Canada.

As an aside, don't think it goes un-noticed by Canadian soldiers serving abroad, when they meet former countrymen serving in foreign armies.From Khandahar, there are reports here in Canada of heated words and some dustups.And this is amongst brothers in arms!

Loyalty goes a long way in many peoples mind, including mine..