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Minnesota National Guard
Soldiers gain citizenship while serving in Minnesota National Guard

The return of the 247th Finance Detachment to the US after serving for approximately one year in Iraq held special meaning for two of the unit's Soldiers Pfc Moses Nyumah and Spc James Idoko served the US without even being naturalized citizens of the country However, returning to the US, Moses had been naturalized as a US citizen and Idoko passed the naturalization test to become a citizen

Pfc Nyumah, originally from Liberia, was sworn in as a US citizen in Iraq on the 11th hour of the 11th Day of the 11th month, Veterans Day and became an American citizen while deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom The Naturalization Ceremony took place at Logistical Support Area Anaconda, Balad, Iraq at the Sustainment Theatre

Spc Idoko, originally from Nigeria, passed his naturalization test upon his return to Minnesota at the Roseville Armory He passed his test just before his unit arrived for their welcome home ceremony He opted to postpone his swearing in ceremony because it would be more convenient for him to visit his family in Nigeria with a green card and then return to the US and swear in upon his return Had he sworn in on the day of the return, he would have had to wait an undetermined amount of time for his American passport to be processed before he could visit his family

Both Soldiers returned from combat as heroes, but according to them, the most important aspect of their return was that they proudly returned with their fellow Soldiers of the 247th Finance Detachment

Pfc Nyumah was welcomed home by his mother, his aunt and his grandmother He plans to reintegrate into his family and his life, attending St Cloud State University, working toward a career as an X-Ray technician

Spc Idoko plans to visit his family in Nigeria and return to his career as a corrections officer for the Minnesota Department of Corrections

By Sgt Joe Roos, 34th Infantry Division Public Affairs
March 6, 2008

View the 247th Finance Detachment Return photo gallery

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