Some of the best soldiers I have served with are not even American citizens. While in Iraq, I was fascinated with non-U.S. citizens who fought for America even though it wasn’t technically their country. I wrote stories on soldiers originally from Hati, Iraq, Australia and New Zealand, all of whom cared more about America than your average citizen. To me they represent what America is about more than anything: People leaving their homeland for a second chance.
Many of these non-U.S. citizens have been killed in combat, protecting our freedoms. One of those soldiers was Army Staff Sgt. Anthony Lagman, a Filipino. He was killed last year in Afghanistan when his unit came under fire during a mission to drive out remnants of Taliban and al-Qaida forces.
His mother, Ligaya Lagman, is not a U.S. citizen either even though she lives in the states. Since her son’s death, she applied for the American God Star Mothers Inc., an organization of mothers who lost children in combat. The organization is currently being bombarded by letters from citizens and of all people, Sen. Clinton is actually calling for the organization to permit Lagman into their organization. But according to the organization’s bylaws, it does not permit non citizens to join. The organization’s president had this to say…
“There’s nothing we can do because that’s what our organization says: You have to be an American citizen,” national President Ann Herd said in May. “We can’t go changing the rules every time the wind blows.”
The group receives national funding, which means it’s subject to public scrutiny more so than a private company. I for one am disgusted. While I certainly feel for the mothers who belong to the Gold Star Mothers organization, they must admit Ms. Lagman. After all, the only thing that separates her from the other members is a piece of paper that says “U.S. Citizen,” a title her son died for.