Guyana Diaspora

'89 percent of Guyana 's graduate population live and work in the 30 relatively rich countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) -"Fruit that falls far from the tree",
The Economist, 03 November 2005'

It is estimated that there are as many Guyanese living overseas as they are in Guyana
They are spread out far and wide to almost every country on the planet
This blog was created to chronicle the news and and stories of the Diaspora

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

NCO earns US citizenship

Sergeant Thomas hasn't lost touch with her own culture and fondly remembers Guyana, the country of her birth. As a child growing up there, Sergeant Thomas can remember eating vegetables from her front yard.,.

Born in the small South American country of Guyana, Staff Sgt. Donna Thomas recently finished the yearlong process of becoming a United States citizen. The new citizen is also a contract specialist with the 11th Contracting Squadron at Bolling AFB.

Though she is both a proud U.S. Air Force noncommissioned officer and a new American citizen, Sergeant Thomas hasn't lost touch with her own culture and fondly remembers Guyana, the country of her birth. As a child growing up there, Sergeant Thomas can remember eating vegetables from her front yard. At the age of 15, she departed Guyana for a better life elsewhere with her parents and two suitcases full of clothes. The family quickly settled with a relative who lived in Fairfax, Va., where Sergeant Thomas started attending the 11th grade in the local high school. There she excelled in academics and upon graduation was accepted to Virginia Tech.

Initially, she wanted to study chemical engineering, but visions of flying the F-16 and the opportunity to be independent motivated her to enlist in the Air Force.

In October 2004, Sergeant Thomas started the process of becoming a U.S. citizen. A year later, the process culminated with a citizenship ceremony on Dec. 13. The ceremony stressed that the United States is a great country because of its citizens, and that the nation's blend of cultures is both unique and vital to the well-being of America. The ceremony also helped remind those in attendance that it is important to not lose one's own culture while becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen and gaining all the rights that come with citizenship.

One of an American citizen's most treasured rights is the right to vote, and Sergeant Thomas was most excited about gaining that right and participating in American democracy.

Sergeant Thomas and her husband, Darryl, have two daughters: Melanie, age 2, and Masala, 11. The sergeant recently volunteered to deploy in AEF cycle 9/10, and like most parents, she is somewhat worried her youngest daughter won't understand her absence. But for Sergeant Thomas, the opportunity to deploy and serve her new country was so important that she extended her Air Force enlistment for the experience.

From The Beam

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