Poland: Poles dying for US citizenship
11 May 2011
“US Army citizen,” headlines Gazeta Wyborcza, reporting that many young Poles with green cards (permanent US residency permits) are joining the American army to obtain US citizenship. Having completed 14 weeks of training, they are swiftly sent on missions to Afghanistan and Iraq. To date, twenty of them have been killed in action. Dangerous as it may be, many are swayed by the promise of a $1,400 (€975) salary, 30 days of paid holidays, insurance and, most importantly, immediate US citizenship. Under Polish law, it is a crime to serve in a foreign army (without special permission), which is why the Polish Ministry of Defence does not keep figures on the number of Poles recruited by the US military. According to a US Army recruiter cited by the daily, approximately 500 have already signed up and more may follow in their footsteps. “America is the land of dreams and the US army helps to make those dreams come true,” remarks one Polish recruit quoted by Gazeta Wyborcza.