July 5, 2007

IT'S NOT STARSHIP TROOPERS:

Taking U.S. citizenship oaths in Iraq: Hundreds of American immigrants serving in the military are naturalized in ceremonies around the war-torn country. (Molly Hennessy-Fiske, July 5, 2007, LA Times)

U.S. soldiers and Marines filed into the marble hall of Saddam Hussein's former Al Faw Palace on Independence Day as foreigners at home as well as here. But they left the room as American citizens.

Standing under a glittering chandelier, 161 service members took the oath of citizenship Wednesday, the largest group to be naturalized at once in Iraq since the conflict began in March 2003. The mostly young, mostly male troops with last names such as Toledo and Serrano stitched across the backs of their caps vowed to "support and defend the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America against all enemies," an abstract promise with a deeper daily meaning here.

"You chose to endure the same sacrifices as your fellow comrades in arms to preserve the freedom of a land that was not yet fully yours," Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, military commander in Iraq, told the gathering in Baghdad. "It is the greatest of honors to soldier with you."


It was fully theirs, they just weren't fully ours yet.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 5, 2007 6:23 AM
Comments

Some might point out the similarity between this, and Gaius Marius'"head count" divisions.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Posted by: Bruno at July 5, 2007 8:42 AM

Good for them and God protect them.

Posted by: Sandy P at July 5, 2007 1:08 PM

Come home safe.

Posted by: erp at July 5, 2007 4:50 PM
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