Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I'd Say They Earned It
Especially the one in the middle

President Bush shakes hands with Specialist Noe Santos-Dilone, 21, center, from Brooklyn, New York, as Specialist Sergio Lopez, 24, left, from Bolingbrook, Il, and Private First Class Eduardo Leal-Cardenas, 21, from Los Angeles, look on following their naturalization ceremony at Walter Reed Medical Center, Monday, July 24, 2006.

Here are some of the remarks made by the Prez;

Specialist Lopez says that becoming a citizen, "represents being acknowledged as having done my duty, having done my part for the country, like the oath says, defending the United States."

Today, we honor Army Private First Class Eduardo Leal-Cardenas. He was injured when an IED blew up his vehicle in Iraq. Private Leal-Cardenas is a man of few words, and he's a man of action. When some questioned whether he would ever walk again, he laughed, and he began his rehab while still in his bed. When Private Leal-Cardenas is asked what citizenship in America means to him, he just said one word: Freedom.

And finally, we honor Army Specialist Lito Santos-Dilone. He was injured while serving as part of the protection detail in Iraq. I first met Specialist Santos-Dilone at this year's National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast. I was working the rope line. He grabbed my hand, and he said, "I'm not a citizen of the United States and I want to be one." Now, here's a man who knows how to take it directly to the top. (Laughter.) I'm proud to be here when he gets sworn in.


Blogger Christine said...

I agree...they are the bravest of the brave!

2:52 PM  
Blogger Petrus Radii said...

Please do not take this as a criticism of the soldiers. It is not.

But I thought foreigners had to renounce their citizenship in other countries and swear allegiance to the United States before entering US military service! I also was under the impression that they automatically received US citizenship when accepted into our military. While these three men have been of great service, it alarms me that foreign nationals with foreign allegiances are allowed to serve in our military. That looks like a pretty serious security risk to me---especially when those foreign nationals come from hostile countries.

Can any one help me out with some information on this matter?

5:25 PM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

In order for one to become an Officer (Commissioned or Warrant), one must be a US citizen.

However, US citizenship is not a requirement to serve in an enlisted status. Legal aliens most certainly can serve.

In my 20 years in the USMC, I've served with Brits, Samoans (not American Samoa, but the Republic of), Canadians, Mexicans, Italians, Filipinos, a Bolivian, a Honduran, a German, etc, etc.

Hope this helps!

7:58 PM  
Blogger St. Jimbob of the Apokalypse said...

Hey, I think we may have solved the Army's recruiting shortfall, AND the illegal immigrant crisis! Make 'em all soldiers, and some of the more skilled as Marines, they can earn their citizenship that way. And most of them will be better catholics than many caucasians in Massachusetts. Win-win, right?

12:36 PM  
Blogger Jay Anderson said...

Marquis de Lafayette,
Baron Frederick von Steuben,
Casimir Pulaski,
Thaddeus Kosciusko, ...
... and countless others.

All non-citizens/non-Americans serving in the U.S. Continental Army and who helped win your Nation's independence.

6:44 PM  
Blogger Jay Anderson said...

Some, like Pulaski and Baron Johann de Kalb, even paid the ultimate price for that freedom.

7:22 PM  

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