A New Citizen!

New American in theater

Spc. Karly Cooper
15th SB, Public Affairs

             CAMP TAJI, Iraq Soldiers can get their citizenship in theater after applying and waiting six months. For a citizen there is normally a five-year residency requirement to be eligible to obtain citizenship.

            Sgt. Jose Mendoza, a supply sergeant with the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 15th Brigade Troops Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) has been approved for citizenship and is about to go thru a naturalization ceremony.

            “I am excited to be able to do this, becoming a citizen in Iraq makes me very happy and it does seem a little strange considering the circumstances,” said Mendoza.

            The Fullerton, Calif., native has been in the Army for eight years now. “There were better opportunities in the Army,” he said.

            Since he has been serving in the Army and living in America all his life, “There’s not much of a difference, I’ve been treated like a United States citizen all along,” he said.

            Though serving in the Army, not being a United States citizen did have its downfalls.

            “I went to Airborne school, graduated, and then I decided I wanted to go to Ranger School but couldn’t go because I wasn’t a U.S. Citizen,” he said.

            To start the process off, he submitted a photo and fingerprints for a background check. He went to his brigade legal office to complete the paperwork and an application. His company commander signed a memo stating that he was not flagged or in trouble.

            Once the documents were submitted to the Immigration Naturalization Services (INS) the six month wait began.

            “I got my letter about six months later and then I got an e-mail from the legal office in Balad,” said Mendoza.

            The process includes an interview where the applicant must demonstrate the ability to write and speak a sentence in English and pass a 100-question exam.

            Now well into his second deployment, he is happy he took the steps that he needed to get naturalized. “My father wanted me to do this a long time ago, but I procrastinated and really should have done it on my first deployment,” he said.

            Now that his time of being an immigrant is at an end, the beginning of a new life as a citizen it is opening up many possibilities. Mendoza plans to one day to join the Special Forces as a weapons sergeant.

            “I really don’t reel any different and I considered myself a citizen before but I am very proud,” said Mendoza.

CAMP TAJI, Iraq – Sgt. Jose Mendoza from Fullerton, Cali, a supply sergeant with the HHC, 15th BTB, 15th SB, 13th SC (E) has completed the process to becoming a United States Citizen. Mendoza will soon be going through the Naturalization ceremony located at a Logistical Support Area on a local FOB to officially become a citizen. (U.S. Army Photo by Spc. Karly Cooper, 15th SB, PAO)

CAMP TAJI, Iraq – Sgt. Jose Mendoza from Fullerton, Cali, a supply sergeant with the HHC, 15th BTB, 15th SB, 13th SC (E) has completed the process to becoming a United States Citizen. Mendoza will soon be going through the Naturalization ceremony located at a Logistical Support Area on a local FOB to officially become a citizen. (U.S. Army Photo by Spc. Karly Cooper, 15th SB, PAO)

Congratulations Sgt. Mendoza! We are very proud of you!  

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4 Responses to A New Citizen!

  1. Ronin says:

    Excellent news. Proud Americans and American’s we can be proud of.

  2. cavmom says:

    It is no secret that America is made up of immigrant families. I am thankful for those, such as Sgt. Mendoza, who make our nation stronger.

    I am not opposed to immigration. My opposition comes from those who are here looking for a free hand-out. (that includes those who have lived in the United States for generations on welfare)

    http://www.ailf.org/ipc/policy_reports_2003_pr001_soldier.asp

    Consistent with our history as a nation of immigrants, the burden of defending America has always been shared by the many among us who are not yet citizens. While policymakers on both sides of the immigration debate battle over the proper role of immigration policy in homeland security, thousands of immigrants from around the world have answered the call to duty and stepped forward to put their lives on the line in the war against terrorism.

    According to the U.S. Department of Defense:

    More than 60,000 immigrants serve on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces.

    Immigrants make up nearly 5 percent of all enlisted personnel on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces.

    Nearly 7 percent of U.S. Navy enlisted personnel are immigrants.

  3. velvethammer says:

    Congrats Sgt. Mendoza!
    Proud to have you as a fellow American!

    Thanks CavMom for this great story. 🙂

  4. AnferTuto says:

    Hola faretaste
    mekodinosad

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