Last updateTue, 29 Sep 2015 10pm
The Good Life Reporter

Set on becoming a US citizen and fighting in the Iraq war, Beto overcame obstacles and persevered

Young Beto Lopez was accepted into the United States military by a sharply uniformed sergeant manning an induction office in a Houston, Texas.


Enlistments into the U.S. military in the eyes of many veteran recruiters were going to weaken by 2003.  An illegal alien, Beto’s interest grew quickly once he was told by his recruiter of the military’s “guarantee” of swift U.S. citizenship to young Mexican “warriors” who signed up to seek revenge for the attack that had killed 3,000 innocent U.S. civilians in the 9/11 “Twin Tower’s” attack. The 9/11 attack ignited patriotic fever, plus a conversation with Beto’s resourceful recruiter helped convince the young man’s high school principle to allow Beto to speed up his studies.  And Beto graduated early.   

Once through a relentless series of demanding training, Beto landed in Iraq.  He was a gunner on a Recon Humvee – a chief target of enemy forces disguised as civilians.  The enemy targeted Humvees by planting IED’s (Improvised Explosive Devices) hidden along key travel arteries.  He had been dreaming of receiving a leave permitting him to visit relatives in Mexico all three times he had been blown out of the Humvee.  But he had never been “seriously” wounded.  Though outside Nasiriyah, he got bounced hard enough to lose consciousness.  That got him a ride to see the shock-trauma folks at a field hospital. 

Beto’s symptoms included being knocked unconscious.  Which meant he actually had an old-fashioned {closed} “skull fracture,” a diagnosis familiar in Mexico. Because Beto wanted to get back to his Recon team, he sped up his “recovery” as much as possible.  He denied symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which other “patients” the docs examined displayed.  

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