War on Terrorism

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Face of Defense: Crew Chief Earns Citizenship

By Army Sgt. Amanda Jo Brown
Task Force Phoenix

KANDAHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan, March 2, 2011 – After months of research and dedication, Army Sgt. Andreas Buttner took the oath of U.S. citizenship with more than 100 other service members Jan. 29 at Kandahar Airfield here.

Buttner, a 34-year-old crew chief in Company C, Task Force Phoenix, began the process of obtaining his citizenship after arriving here in September.

Originally from Fulda, Germany, Buttner deployed to Afghanistan prepared with all of the paperwork he would need to begin his naturalization packet. He acknowledged he was anxious about the process even though he had been extremely thorough.

“I was nervous and excited -- nervous that I was missing any documents, [and] excited that I was on track for citizenship,” he said.

Buttner mailed the completed packet back to the United States to begin the review process, and naturalization authorities began his background check.

Four months after submitting his naturalization packet, Buttner and his escort, Army Chief Warrant Officer 3 Allan Mace of Sacramento, Calif., flew to Kandahar to finish the immigration process, which included completing an interview.

“The interview took about one and a half hours, and I was very nervous, because the decision for citizenship approval or disapproval is made right then and there,” Buttner said. “Of course, the thought of missing any paperwork or supporting documents was on my mind.”

Prior to his interview, Buttner was required to study 100 questions for an exam that covered American history and government. He passed with flying colors.

Mace, who has known Buttner for more than four years, said Buttner sacrificed and invested himself in the United States.

“It is people like him who tell the world that with hard work, diligence, dedication and love for a nation that the United States continues to be a country of opportunity and compassion,” Mace said.

Buttner recommends that soldiers who want to become U.S. citizens take advantage of the support the military offers.

“I am extremely proud to be a citizen and to continue to fight alongside my fellow citizens for the stabilization of Afghanistan and to ensure the freedom and liberty of all back home,” he said.

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