Non Citizens Told: "Enlist for Iraq and Earn Your Green
March 13, 2005
----- Original Message -----
From: Pinky <email@example.com>
Sent: Sunday, March 13, 2005 3:43 PM
Subject: Posthumous Citizenships on Fast Track
How many US army personnel are killed and buried without
ever making it to the official death toll list? It seems thousands more
than we can ever imagine.... and the US/zionist media in its complicit role
in this war... are silent or are preparing for Syria and Iran.
Posthumous Citizenships on Fast Track, Include
WASHINGTON, March 5, 2004 -- The U.S. government historically
has granted posthumous citizenship to non-U.S. citizen service members killed
in the line of duty during wartime.
Thanks to a close working relationship between the Defense
Department and the new Department of Homeland Security, this process is
now on the fast track – with a goal of presenting an official certificate
granting that citizenship at the service member's funeral.
And with new provisions in the fiscal 2004 National Defense
Authorization Act, the citizenship is no longer simply honorary. It now
includes tangible benefits to the deceased service member's spouse, children
and parents who hope to gain U.S. citizenship.
Dan Ruiz from the Army's Casualty and Memorial Affairs Operations
Center said the new law doesn't affect the procedures for granting posthumous
citizenships for service members first put in place during World War I.
Posthumous citizenship is granted at the request of the immediate family.
Currently the deadline for applications for posthumous citizenships
is Nov. 2, but officials said they expect it to be extended.
This year's DoD authorization act waives the $80 application
fee families previously had to pay. And for the first time, immediate family
members who do not have permanent U.S. resident status may now get it based
on the deceased service member's newly granted citizenship.
So far, six soldiers, 10 Marines and one sailor killed in
support of Operation Iraqi Freedom received posthumous citizenships, according
to Rick Torres, a posthumous citizenship officer at the U.S. Citizenship
and Immigration Services' California Service Center. The U.S. Citizenship
and Immigration Services was formerly known as the Immigration and Naturalization
A posthumous citizenship application is also being processed
for another soldier, Torres said.
Among those granted posthumous citizenships was U.S. Army
Pvt. Rey David Cuervo, a 24-year-old scout with the 1st Squadron, 2nd Armored
Cavalry Regiment, killed in Baghdad Dec. 28 when an improvised explosive
device hit his vehicle.
A native of Tampico, Mexico, Cuervo had lived in Texas since
he was 6 years old. Friends said he had planned to attain U.S. citizenship
after returning from Iraq.
President Bush specifically named Cuervo and other non-U.S.
citizens killed during the war on terror while visiting U.S. troops and
their families at Fort Polk, La., Feb. 17. "At my direction, each of
them has been posthumously granted a title to what they have brought a great
honor: citizen of the United States," Bush told the group.
Another recipient of a posthumous citizenship was Marine Staff
Sgt. Riayan Tejeda, a native of the Dominican Republic who was shot and
killed during a firefight northeast of Baghdad April 11, 2003.
Tejeda, 26, who was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine
Regiment, had immigrated as a child to the United States and had grown up
in New York City. During a recent ceremony, the southwest corner of 180th
Street in his hometown neighborhood was named "Staff Sgt. Riayan Agusto
Tejeda Street" in his memory.
Torres, who retired from the Navy before joining the Citizen
and Immigration Services, said he feels honored to play a role in helping
the families of those who have died for the United States.
"I deeply believe that their valor and patriotism toward
this nation cannot be expressed in mere words," he said. "I see
each posthumous citizenship request as another fallen comrade who made the
ultimate sacrifice for this nation and left families behind that will grieve
through this process."
Torres said he considers his role in the process a personal
calling, to provide "the utmost honorable and compassionate sentiment"
as he helps a fallen comrade's family members during the citizenship process.
He said the support he supplies is "not only on behalf of the other
men and women at the California Service Center dedicated to this process,
but also on behalf of all service veterans."
Leslie Lord, the Army's liaison to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration
Services, said posthumous citizenships for service members killed while
serving the United States – and the extension of those benefits to
the families left behind – demonstrates the depth of the country's
appreciation for their sacrifices.
"These people have proven that they are willing to die
for the United States," he said. "They've made the ultimate sacrifice,
so it's only right that the county grant them the citizenships they have
earned and make sure that their families receive benefits as well."
Immigrant deaths in the El Paso sector this summer are already
ahead of last year's numbers.
There have been 12 more deaths of undocumented immigrants since May 14,
when the first victim was found. That victim was Eunice Avila Hernandez,
a 32-year-old homemaker from Veracruz, Mexico, who died on her way to the
Deming hospital after collapsing in the desert near Columbus, N.M.
The dead immigrants ranged in age from 17 to 55, four were
women, and one man was from Brazil, officials said.
At least four died of heat exposure, and eight drowned in
canals, according to lists compiled by the Border Patrol and the medical
Last year, 10 immigrants died in the El Paso sector, including
three by drowning and two of heat exposure.
Border Patrol officials blamed ruthless smugglers for the
increase. On at least two occasions, smugglers abandoned their charges when
they couldn't follow, and once, in the case of 17-year-old Victor Hugo de
Jesus Montalvo, found June 4 near Columbus, N.M., the smugglers might have
given him stimulants that made him more susceptible to dehydration.
Immigrant advocates blame U.S. immigration policies for the
deaths, especially the increased enforcement in Arizona this summer.
"It's always the pattern," said Ouisa Davis, executive
director and lawyer of Diocesan Migrant and Refugee Services Inc., which
helps immigrants with paperwork. "Migrants are coming here illegally
because they can't come here legally, and they are forced to go to through
the more remote areas or their smugglers use the more remote areas."
The U.S. government launched the Arizona Border Control initiative
this summer, beefing up the Border Patrol presence around Tucson by 200
agents and 60 search and rescue specialists, as well as helicopters and
unmanned aerial vehicles. Each year, close to 200 border-crossers die in
the Arizona desert, and government officials said they are trying to reduce
Undocumented immigrants from Mexico caught in Arizona are
now flown all the way to their hometowns, instead of just being driven back
across the border, to make it harder for them to try to cross again.
But the smugglers have adapted to the increased enforcement
in the past two or three years by moving their routes to the less patrolled
desert around Columbus and Fabens, where the Border Patrol has registered
spikes in apprehensions.
The increase has also sparked an unprecedented charitable
initiative in El Paso this summer. A group of pilots and volunteers calling
themselves Paisanos Al Rescate started flying over the desert in a Cessna
C172 and dropping bottles of water attached to small parachutes to groups
Louie Gilot may be reached at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org 546-6131.; Source:
U.S. Border Patrol
Marine Gunnery Sgt. Joseph Menusa, the former Tracy man killed
in combat in Iraq, has been awarded U.S. citizenship.
"We can bury him now," said his mother, Virginia Kenny of Tracy.
"He's part of the U.S. now."
She and other family members learned Friday that the government
had granted posthumous citizenship to Menusa, who fought in both Persian
"I just started crying tears of joy," said his wife,
Stacy, who is staying with her parents in Santa Maria, on the central coast.
"I know he's jumping for joy up in heaven. I can see the smile on his
Joseph Menusa, 33, was born in the Philippines. He came to
the United States when he was 10 and graduated from high school in San Jose.
He had been in the Marine Corps for 14 years, and lived in
Tracy for three years when he worked in recruiting. He commuted to his assignments
in Fremont, Hayward and Livermore, and to Moffett Federal Airfield.
His mother and stepfather, Michael Kenny, have lived in Tracy
for 12 years. Since Joseph's death in late March, people have been dropping
off flowers, flags and cards at a memorial around a tree in front of the
Menusa and his wife and their 3-year-old son, Joshua, left
Tracy in December, when he rejoined the fighting force and went to Camp
He held U.S. resident status, and had tried for seven years
to obtain citizenship. But his military schedule caused him to miss appointments
with immigration officials.
The U.S. military includes about 31,000 foreign nationals,
at least six of whom have died in the war in Iraq.
Last year, President Bush signed an executive order making
it easier for the families of foreign nationals killed in combat to apply
for citizenship for the soldiers. Two others killed in Iraq also have received
U.S. citizenship, which carries no extra financial benefits for the soldier's
Still, it is meaningful to Menusa's family as they prepare
for the funeral.
A family member said Menusa's body was expected to arrive
in Los Angeles today or Monday, from the military morgue in Dover, Del.,
and a funeral and burial were planned later in the week in Santa Maria.
In Tracy, a memorial service has been scheduled for 7 p.m.
Tuesday, with the American Legion Hall as the announced location. But Saturday,
a move was afoot to switch to the larger Community Center, said John Treantos,
The Community Center is at 400 E. 10th St. Official word on
the switch in locations was expected Monday
FALLEN GI'S FINAL WISH
On day of his funeral, Jerseyan slain in Iraq gains U.S. citizenship
Monday, March 07, 2005
BY KASI ADDISON
Pfc. Min Soo Choi wanted desperately to be an American citizen.
Yesterday, the 21-year-old South Korean native from River
Vale received his wish, becoming the first New Jersey soldier to receive
citizenship posthumously since the Iraq war began two years ago.
"He had only been in this country for a short while,"
Sen. Frank Lautenberg said during a funeral service attended by hundreds
of people at Pascack Valley High School in Hillsdale. "But we all know
you loved America."
Lautenberg, along with River Vale and federal officials, pushed
to get Choi his citizenship after he was killed on Feb. 26 when a bomb exploded
near his patrol in Abertha, Iraq.
"Thank you, Min Soo, and your family for contributing
to the well-being of our nation," the senator said as he handed the
certificate to the soldier's family.
Choi was the 44th service member with ties to New Jersey killed
in Iraq, according to the Defense Department. He will be buried this afternoon
at Arlington National Cemetery across the Potomac River from Washington,
There are roughly 30,000 non-American citizens serving in
the military, Lautenberg said. Choi was the 58th immigrant solider killed
in Iraq to be awarded citizenship.
Throughout the well-attended service in the high school auditorium,
people remembered Choi's humor, charisma, kindness, determination and his
pride in serving his country and community.
"We fought for them, he fought for us. We're a band of
brothers," said Korean War veteran George Bruzgis, 72.
Choi lived with his family in Bergen County for about sevenyears.
After graduating from Pascack Valley in 2003, Choi enrolled at John Jay
College of Criminal Justice for one semester before deciding to enlist in
the Army. He was assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division, 6th Squadron, 8th
While his family and friends are proud of Choi, they were
initially unhappy with his decision to enter the military during a time
of war. They spoke about their struggle to understand his death and the
nagging question of whether it was in vain.
But while those gathered to honor the soldier may be struggling
with the answer, Choi would not have, said Carlos C. Huerta, an Army captain
"If you had asked Min Soo, he would have given a resounding
'No, my life was not wasted,'" Huerta said.
Choi's friend, Ji Ha Lee, said when Choi told a group of friends
he was enlisting in the Army, they all began shouting and asking him why.
"But his decision wasn't made on impulse," she said
as her voice choked with emotion. "He did not want fear of the impending
war to stop him from achieving what he wanted to in life."
He was always there for others, an optimist and dreamer who
didn't allow things to stand in his way, Lee said.
"You wanted to protect the people and the country you
loved," Lee said to Choi. "And the marks you have left on each
and every one of us is like footsteps on our heart."
Throughout the service, Choi's mother sat in the front row
of the auditorium, her head bent forward and at times resting on the shoulder
of Angela Harris, wife of Lt. Col. Michael J. Harris, Choi's commander in
Harris traveled from her home at Fort Stewart, Ga., to be
with the Choi family. She said her husband and the rest of the unit in Iraq
took the deaths of Choi and Pvt. Landon Giles "pretty hard."
"We are here to honor his ultimate sacrifice, and those
who continue to fight a noble cause for his memory," she said before
awarding the family engraved dog tags with a photo of Choi.
Among the honors awarded to the fallen soldier were a Purple
Heart, the Bronze Star, the Good Conduct Medal and the Combat Infantry Badge.
The River Vale Police Department also declared Choi an honorary police officer
and gave his family a badge.
As each plaque, medal and memento of his son was handed to
him, Jong Dae Choi bowed in thanks. Choi's parents do not speak English.
His sister Mirry did not speak during the service, but nodded
as condolences were whispered in her ears by the various speakers.
Earlier, as her brother's casket was taken out of the hearse,
a grimace crossed Mirry's face briefly. She then glanced at her mother,
who was sobbing, grabbed her hand and then looked at the flag-draped casket.
Everyone in the family is struggling with Choi's death, said
Maria Oh, a family friend who was present when Army officials delivered
the news to the family.
"They hurt so, so much," she said. "I miss
him so much. He lived very short, but was a good man."
Oh said Choi's death made the deaths of all the soldiers fighting
in Iraq more personal.
"Today I see they died for me," she said. "Not
for the U.S., but for me. Every soldier."
She began to cry.
"We in America, have peace because of him."
Kasi Addison can be reached at (973) 392-4154 or email@example.com.
Cabral's wife, Anita Cabral, 24, told the Standard-Examiner
newspaper her husband was supposed to be coming home in 40 days.
"Nobody is ever going to forget him. We all love him,"
A place for grieving
By Rhina Guidos
The Salt Lake Tribune
OGDEN -- Juan Carlos Cabral was killed and buried far from
the place he was born. And though the soldier will remain away from his
birthplace of Jerez, Mexico, his body will stay in the country for which
he died, the country which, in the end, adopted him.
During Wednesday's burial services for Cabral, a Mexican
national who died a week and a half ago in Iraq, a U.S. Army official announced
in Ogden that Cabral was awarded U.S. citizenship retroactive to Jan. 31
-- the day he was killed with two other soldiers in an explosion near Kirkuk.
The announcement was of no comfort to his grieving mother,
Angela Cabral, who sobbed and said "No! No!" as she watched her
son's coffin during the graveside service, led by the U.S. military and
bolstered by a 21-gun salute.
At his burial place in Washington Heights Memorial Park,
officials gave the soldier's family two medals: a Purple Heart -- his second
-- for his injuries and a Bronze Star for meritorious service. They also
gave them his U.S. citizenship certificate, which the family accepted as
they cried and clutched rosaries and crucifixes.
"It doesn't signify anything," Angela Cabral later
said about the certificate. "He should have received it when he was
alive. Now, what for? He should have received all these honors, not us."
Soldier Cabral should be remembered for the things he did
in life, not the way he died, his mother said.
He was shy, but always tried to do the right thing for his
family and for others. He joined the Army to pay for college and to support
his wife and children.
Dan Hassett, spokesman for Fort Hood in Texas where Cabral
was stationed, said Cabral was a legal U.S.-resident when he enlisted.
"Citizenship, that was not the reason he joined,"
said his father Angel Cabral.
The Army gave him an education in mechanics, which he enjoyed,
Angel Cabral said.
"He planned to stay [in the Army] until he retired,"
Angel Cabral said. "He said he really liked it and he was grateful."
Cabral also had been scheduled to be promoted to sergeant
before he died; that promotion also was awarded posthumously.
But he also spoke of returning to Ogden one day, to set up
an auto shop with family members.
The importance of family for Cabral was evident by the number
of cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews who crowded into St. Joseph's
Catholic Church. Almost 300 people attended the burial Mass and stood by
his graveside to bid farewell. They came from places such as Kansas, California
and Nevada. Angela Cabral was given a temporary leave from Weber County
Jail to attend her son's funeral. She is awaiting sentencing on two minor
Some relatives from Cabral's native Mexico wanted to come
but were denied visas, Angel Cabral said.
Most of his friends from Ogden showed up, still troubled
by the loss, they said.
Enrique Gonzales placed a red rose atop the silver-colored
coffin. The two met as boys in the mid-'80s when Juan Cabral "was shy
with the girls," Gonzales said.
They last spoke in the fall when Juan Cabral visited his
wife and children in Texas. At that time, Cabral tried to visit Utah, which
he considered home. But he ran out of time. "He said he was doing good
and he was going to be home soon," Gonzales recalled.
It was hard to talk about Cabral -- who was more like a family
member than a friend from the neighborhood, he said.
Quiet, but friendly, he once brought two soldiers -- who
didn't have a place to call home -- with him to Utah. He wanted to make
them feel they were part of his family, his mother said.
In the Army, they called him "Juanito," and "El
Jefe Medio," or the middle boss. At home, they called him "Carlitos."
Some relatives wore T-shirts bearing a photograph of Juan Cabral holding
his first Purple Heart medal, which he received last year when he was injured
by a grenade that exploded in a building where he was placing a call to
At St. Joseph's, where the soldier once served as an altar
boy, the Rev. Hernando Diaz reminded others to think about the good deeds
that came from Juan Cabral, his accomplishments and the religious faith
that accompanied him during war.
Diaz comforted Cabral's loved ones, his widow Anita holding
their 1-year-old son Manuel, son Fabian, 7, his parents and his brothers
As during his graveside service, the tears wouldn't stop.
"We grieve and it's normal," Diaz said. "Tears
and grief are an expression of love."
VETERANS FOR PEACE
Veterans Working Together for Peace & Justice Through Non-violence.
Two post-Iraq suicides not listed by Army
By Mark Benjamin
United Press International
Published 1/20/2004 2:25 PM
WASHINGTON, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- A soldier who served in Iraq
apparently hung himself with a bedsheet last week at Walter Reed Army Medical
Center, but the Pentagon did not count that death two days later when it
announced "a very small increase" in the suicide rate from Operation
It also did not count an Operation Iraqi Freedom soldier who
apparently committed suicide at the same military hospital last July. The
Pentagon said it is not counting suicides among troops who killed themselves
after they left Iraq.
A veterans' advocate questioned that decision.
"I want to know why stateside suicides are not counted
in the total number of suicides reported by the Department of Defense,"
said Steve Robinson, executive director of the National Gulf War Resource
Center and a former Army Ranger.
Robinson said he fears an epidemic of mental problems among
troops who have served in the war. "There appears to be a significant
increase in both suicides and post-traumatic stress disorder," Robinson
Robinson is set to testify Wednesday before a House Armed
Services Committee panel on that issue and other health problems facing
U.S. troops. Army Surgeon General Lt. Gen. James B. Peake is also scheduled
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Dr. William
Winkenwerder Jr. told reporters last week that the Pentagon was tracking
at least 22 suicides from the war, including 19 Army soldiers. He said that
for the Army, that number reflects a suicide rate "on the high end
of what they've seen in the past." But, he said, "It looks like
a very small increase."
That total does not include the Jan. 12 death at Walter Reed,
a few miles north of the Pentagon, nor the apparent suicide of an Army master
sergeant at the same hospital July 4.
Pentagon spokeswoman Martha Rudd said the military is counting
only suicides that occurred in theater. "All of these deaths occurred
in Iraq or Kuwait," Rudd said. She would not discuss suicides further
or explain how the Department of Defense calculates what it said is the
slightly elevated suicide rate among soldiers. "Arriving at the rate
requires going about it a certain way," Rudd said.
She said a team of investigators who went to Iraq to study
the suicides and mental health problems among troops would issue a report
In interviews by United Press International at Fort Stewart,
Fort Knox and Fort Benning, soldiers described mental problems among troops
returning from war and little if any access to mental health help.
At Fort Benning, four soldiers from the same company in the
Army's famed Third Infantry Division have been charged in connection with
the fatal stabbing of a fifth soldier in July. Medical records reviewed
by UPI show that at least one of the four charged in the death had attempted
suicide in Kuwait before returning home, but was given less than an hour's
counseling at Fort Benning before being released.
At least a half-dozen other soldiers from that company have
spent time in the psychiatric ward at Fort Benning.
Pentagon data on the number of medical evacuations obtained
by UPI this fall showed that more than 1 in 5 non-combat medical evacuations
were for mental problems or brain problems. Army Surgeon General Spokeswoman
Virginia Stephanakis said lumping brain problems and mental problems together
was misleading, because the two were "like apples and oranges,"
but provided no elaboration on the data.
Concern over mental health issues is mounting as the Army
brings home tens of thousands of troops from Iraq. The Army has said that
between 200,000 and 250,000 soldiers, including 120,000 reservists, will
be going to or returning from Operation Iraqi Freedom during the first four
months of this year.
Winkenwerder said the 19 Army suicides compute to a rate of
13.5 suicides per 100,000 personnel per year. That is higher than an expected
10 to 11 per year. The figure could rise if a number of deaths still under
investigation are ruled suicides.
He said the Pentagon does not see any significant trends among
the data but has deployed nine combat stress teams for forces in Iraq and
placed a psychologist, psychiatrist and social worker with each division.
Walter Reed spokesman Bill Swisher confirmed deaths on Jan.
12 and July 4 at the hospital, but said both were under investigation so
he could not comment.
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