Memorial Day Will Mean More To Some Local Military Members | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Memorial Day Will Mean More To Some Local Military Members

Play associated audio

By Matt Bush

This Memorial Day will be extra special for a local group of active members of the military. It's because they're now naturalized U.S. citizens.

Jose Torres-Cubban is a private first class in the Army, stationed at Fort Meade in Maryland. His journey to the U.S. took time. He and his parents left Panama when he was 4 in the 1980's, during a time of political strife and war in the country. They settled in Canada, all the while waiting to get into the U.S. Torres-Cubban says it took more than 10 years.

"It seemed like a very involved process, and I know as soon as my mom was eligible for U.S. citizenship, she went for it. And so did my brother. Mainly, because they understood not being in the United States, how valuable it is to live here," says Torres-Cubban.

He says the long journey to U.S. citizenship will mean all the more to him this Memorial Day, especially because he will soon be deployed to Afghanistan.

"I'm newly married. I'm a new United States citizen. I'm preparing to deploy. I guess, I really will take stock in my life and see where I am now and see it as a starting point to move forward as an American citizen," he says.

Since the 9-11 terrorist attacks almost nine years ago, close to 60,000 active members of the U.S. military have become naturalized citizens.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, Sept. 2

You can see a selection of Chinese films or meditate on the meaning of the word “axis” at an art exhibition.

NPR

These 5 Crops Are Still Hand-Harvested, And It's Hard Work

Saffron, vanilla, palm oil, cacao and cottonseed oil are still picked by hand in some parts of the world. Sometimes that manual labor shows up in the price of the food; sometimes it doesn't.
NPR

The Politics Of Calling In Sick

A growing grass-roots movement aims to establish paid sick leave in the U.S., enjoying some success at the city and state level. The issue is already playing big in 2014 political races.
NPR

Celebrity Photo Leak Puts Spotlight On The Cloud, And Security

The FBI and Apple are looking into how private photos of Jennifer Lawrence and other celebrities were stolen, an incident that raises new questions about storing personal data online.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.