Washington D.C. � U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Eduardo Aguirre swore in five persons as United States citizens during a ceremony at Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC) in Washington, D.C. on April 15.
In front of an audience of family members, friends, and medical staff, three Army servicemen, one Marine and the spouse of an injured Army servicewoman raised their right hands to take the Oath of Allegiance to fulfill their desire to become a U.S. citizens.
All of the injured had served in Iraq prior to arriving at WRAMC for treatment of the serious injuries sustained in combat.
�Thousands of immigrant troops are making extraordinary sacrifices, and there is no more fitting way for a grateful nation to demonstrate its appreciation than making them citizens,� Director Aguirre said. �We pay the ultimate honor to those who have given so much.�
Those naturalized included:
U.S. Army Specialist Dennis Sedlyar immigrated from the Republic of the Ukraine in November 1995. He enlisted in the Army in 2002 and deployed to Iraq with the 10th Mountain Division in July 2004. The 22 year-old infantryman was driving the last vehicle of a convoy when an improvised explosive device (IED) constructed from a 155mm field artillery round exploded, severely wounding him in the head and face. Although he has rejoined his unit at Fort Drum, New York, Sedlyar continues to undergo follow-up treatment at WRAMC. His mother and sister reside in San Diego, Calif.
U.S. Marine Corporal Mervin Bautista Roxas immigrated with his family from the Philippines in 1996 and joined the Marines in March 2002. The 22 year-old Marine was on routine patrol near Al Qaim near the Syrian border on July 5, 2004, manning a weapon on top of a Humvee. An IED detonated, destroying the vehicle, severely injuring him in the face and left arm, and killing three soldiers in the back of the vehicle. Roxas was serving his second tour in Iraq. His family resides in Anaheim, Calif.
Twenty-three year-old twin brothers, U.S. Army Specialist Jose Gallo and U.S. Army Sergeant Juan Gallo, immigrated from Peru in April 2001 and enlisted in the Army later that year. Spec. Jose Gallo sustained a serious head injury while serving in Iraq and is currently receiving treatment at WRAMC. Sgt. Gallo is currently deployed in Iraq but returned to WRAMC to be with his brother as he recovered.
Mr. Charles Wilson is the husband of U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Juanita Wilson, who is currently a patient at Walter Reed, recovering from injuries received when her convoy came under attack in Iraq. Wilson, originally from Liberia, immigrated to the U.S. in September 1994. The Wilson�s have a six year-old child, Kenyah. SSgt. Wilson was recently assigned to work in supply and logistics at WRAMC, transferring with her family from Fort Shafter, Hawaii.
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