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Deserting one desert for another
Story and photos by Sgt. 1st Class Kryn P. Westhoven, JFHQ-NJ/PA

The bright sunshine cast deep shadows along the barren desert of Fort Bliss’s McGregor Range in New Mexico as the 3,000 Soldiers of the 50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team said good-bye to their mobilization station on August 22.

Maj. Gen. Glenn K. Rieth, The Adjutant General along with five additional General officers lead a delegation of three dozen senior leaders who traveled to the Validation Ceremony for the brigade that

includes two companies of Michigan Citizen-Soldiers.

“We are ready to move to theater, ready to perform our mission,” announced Col. Steven Ferrari, brigade commander, as he addressed the nearly 3,000 Soldiers in formation. “You have built cohesiveness and combat-ready teams.”

The ceremony ended weeks of training for the detainee operations mission the majority of the 50th IBCT will be doing while in Iraq.

Photo and story by Sgt. 1st Class Kryn P. Westhoven, JFHQ-NJ/PA

For ten Citizen-Soldiers the word citizen took on a whole new meaning as they received the Oath of American Citizenship just days before they headed off to defend their new nation against terrorism.

The 50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team members raised their right hands during the Validation Ceremony at Fort Bliss’s McGregor Range in New Mexico as Raymond P. Adams, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, El Paso Field Office Director, administered the oath.

It was only three years ago Pfc. Kenneth Adolfo left his native Philippines, joining F Co., 250th Brigade Support Battalion just 12 months after arriving in the state.

“This was the main reason I joined the military for my citizenship and finally I got it,” said the 23-year college student.

Joining Aldofo in receiving their citizenship were: Sgt. Kerwin Bornell, 50th Special Troops Battalion-Trinidad-Tobago; Pfc. Jossie Cruzalegui, 50th Chemical Co.-Peru; Pfc. Donald Ward Penina, 50th Chemical Co.-Columbia; Spc. Evan Tajo, 250th Brigade Support Battalion, Philippines; Pfc. Joseph Cenesca, 250th Brigade Support Battalion-Haiti; Spc. Oscar Llerena, 114th Infantry-Peru; Spc. Fatmata Bangura, 50th Special Troops Battalion-Sierra Leone; Spc. Gilbert Beriso, 250th Brigade Support Battalion-Philippines and Pfc. Raymond Elliot, 250th Brigade Support Battalion-Sierra Leone.


Table of Contents
Volume 34 Number 2 Staff / Information
(c) 2008 NJ Department of Military and Veterans Affairs