Houston County Courier - Local News
Stories Added - August 2009
Copyright 2009 - Polk County Publishing Company
Giving up a citizenship to get his citizenship
Houston County Courier - August 2009
“I am just as much a citizen as Senator John McCain or our president but I can’t prove it to the satisfaction of Homeland Security.” Said Gerald L. Reichl Sr.
Reichl Sr.’s father was born in Pennsylvania and served as a tail gunner in the eighth U.S. air Force.
He caught yellow jaundice and was grounded. The military chose to utilize his skills at an R.A.F. airfield named Higams manning anti-aircraft guns.
The British also had army personnel manning the guns.
His mother, had joined the British Army and was stationed at, you guessed it, Higams field.
They married in October 1942 and he came along in September 1945. Except for his stint with the military, his father never left the United States.
As the eldest of five children to Austrian immigrants his father quit school in the eighth grade holding various jobs at Bethlehem Steel and later the US Postal Service.
“Since my dad was a U.S. citizen, I am a U.S. citizen, no matter where I was born.” Said Reichl Sr.
He and his mother came to the United States in March 1946. His mother became a citizen of the United States under the Act of Dec. 20, 1945.
The manifest signed by the U.S. Department of Justice Immigration and Naturalization Service states that he is a U.S. citizen.
His birth certificate lists his father’s rank, his military serial number and occupation as U.S. military.
His baptism certificate also lists his father’s military information.
“I didn’t experience any problems with the validity of my U.S. citizenship until I attempted to get a passport.” Reichl Sr. said.
He has voted, served in the Air force as a K-9 handler, responded to jury duty, all the things a citizen should do.
Homeland security has been provided all of this information and more. Their response, fingerprinted him and assign an Alien number for him as a citizen of the U.K.
“As I understand it, President Bush Sr. signed a law which allows any alien who served in the U.S. military during a period of conflict and was honorably –discharged to apply for U.S. citizenship.
“I have done so. Taking a U.S. civics test, an English test, and appearing at various Homeland Security offices.”
On Wednesday, Sept. 16 Gerald Reichl Sr. will appear at the US District Court of the Southern District of Texas in Houston to pledge allegiance to his country and become a citizen of the United States of America.
“In my 63 years I have learned that life is filled with compromise.” Said Reichl Sr.