Skip to main content

I wanted to share this powerful  story featured at The Sanctuary today, in honor of Veteran's Day  and all of the men and women who serve our country in uniform.

The story is from U.S. Army veteran,  Ethiopian refugee, and American citizen, Alemayehu Addis, and it includes a  call to action. He asks us to support new legislation that would protect  immigrant military families from the kind of hardships so  many face when their loved ones return home from duty and try to navigate our  broken immigration system.

Here's a snippet of Alemayehu's  story -- check it out:

I came to the United States when I  was 11 years old. I remember the day I first set foot on American soil as if it  were yesterday: May 23, 1991.

The oppressive humidity of a Washington D.C.  summer made it even more memorable. Ethiopia is a warm country, but I had never  experienced such a combination of swamp-like humidity and searing heat before.  We stayed in Washington DC for about a month before we moved to Philadelphia  where my family and I live now.

My story is similar to that of  thousands of other immigrants in the United States Armed Services. They love  this country, the freedom it enjoys, and the unparalleled opportunity it  represents. It has been my experience that immigrant service members are the  most eager to prove how much they love this country with their service because  they are keenly aware of how unique and special our country is. According to a report released this week by the  Immigration Policy Center, there are over 114,000 immigrants  currently serving, and over 10,000 were naturalized as U.S. citizens last year.  Since September 11th, over 53,000 men and women in the armed services have  become U.S. citizens.

Yesterday, Senator Bob Menendez from  New Jersey introduced a bill to provide immigration relief to the thousands of  immigrants and their families serving overseas. Simply, the bill aims to keep  the families of US service members together while they fight for our freedom.  At the very least, service members have earned the right to be united with  their closest family members on a permanent basis without fearing that they  will face unfair and unexpected deportation.

Former Chair of the Joint Chiefs of  Staff Colin Powell said earlier this year:

I have seen it thousands of times in  my military career: the young men and women who come to this country as  immigrants and volunteer to serve in our Armed Forces, the children of  immigrants who volunteer to serve in our Armed Forces. You will find no better  or more loyal soldiers than these young men and women who may already be  citizens who hope to do their service to become citizens.

I can think of no better way on  Veteran’s Day to honor these service members, who have put their lives on the  line for our freedom, than to support this bill – the Adjustment of Status for  Family members of the U.S. Armed Forces.

 Neither can I.

Note: Cross-posted at America's Voice.

Originally posted to Adam Luna on Wed Nov 11, 2009 at 11:24 AM PST.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site