I’ve gone through most of my mail on the military path to citizenship idea now. I’d say readers so far are more in favor of the idea than opposed, although still divided. A couple readers reminded me that Britain still has a Gurkha regiment of Nepalese recruits. Others noted precedents for non-citizen soldiers (who went on to earn citizenship) in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. Here’s a story about a foreign Vietnam Vet who won the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Again, there’s clearly a history here, and it needs to be explored. And I’ve received many letters like this:
John is right, the lack of citizen soldiers is worrisome, but I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss the service of foreign nationals. There are a few soldiers where I work [I’m not enlisted, just a civilian contractor] that are immigrants (Jamaica, Mexico, Puerto Rico, probably others I am unaware of) and they seem equally as dedicated as the US born. I recently attended a Purple Heart ceremony where a Kenyan born US soldier was receiving his third Purple Heart. Third. They had been earned over the course of several tours in OIF. Heck, I’d trust him more than John Kerry.