US NAVY- Kenyan Americans Also Proudly Serve: When Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas town of Huston and other small towns, it devastated the lives of millions of citizens. What was breath taking was the efforts that FEMA, Citizen volunteers, the Coast Guard and the United States military made to help those who were afflicted. The American Ideal withdraw itself from politicians and their efforts to divide the people into “tribal” groups and injected its humanity without discrimination: This effort was a response to mother nature which is also indiscriminate in its enforcement of its universal dominance!
Now again another hurricane has hit the United States. This time in the State that some of us have called home for years. The sunshine state, as it is called presents the residents with paradism terrain with the Key West acting as an exclamation mark to the serenity of the beaches, the theme parks, and fresh oranges from this beautiful American Vacation Paradise. Again the American military is called to provide relief and assurance of normalcy to those whose homes are devastated by Irma. Mine included.
What many people forget is that among these brave men and women serving the United States oversees and when called forth in times of natural calamity here are sons and daughters of Kenyan Immigrants. When MR3- E4 Nagi came from Kenya a few years ago, he decided to walk the straight and narrow road. He did not want to get mixed up with the crowd of them who were wasting their lives. “I have always wanted to live a life of self discipline” he says with pride. The place where he knew he could get that discipline of life was in the military. He joined the US Navy and was sent to Navy training center in Greys Lake Illinois. When I went to see him, it was winter and he came out to the car wearing a navy T-shirt! I went to School near greys lake in Deerfield and it gets cold.
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For this young man, this was who he wanted to be and the cold could not keep him down. We brought him some Burgers and soft drinks and we sat in the car as he enjoyed time with family. Before Hurricane Irma decided to visit, he stopped by and found me in the house doing what I love to do, write. At first I did not recognize him. But then I realized that it was the young man from Greys Lake. He was dressed in his military gear so proud to wear the United States Naval Uniform. He is not the only one serving in the United States Military, rather, there are Kenyans in Navy, Marine Corp, Army, Air Force and in the National Guard.
It may be a simple matter to some but to me, seeing this young man after he completed the Naval training and now stationed in Jacksonville Florida made me proud. Proud that our children and children of our friends, neighbors and associates from Kenya are part of the force doing good around the world, and especially in this country which has graciously welcomed even people from Kinangop! We thank Nagi and others like him for serving. It is them who make these United States of American a great nation. And especially now that some of us are affected by hurricanes, it is good to know that those who serve include such a disciplined and committed young man.
Prayers and thanksgiving are in order to the United States Military for serving its citizens. Among these brave men and women, sons and daughters of Kenyan immigrants.
Teddy Njoroge Kamau (PhD)
Diaspora messenger senior Columnist