‘It’s a great country!’


Today was going to be a pretty big day for Minnesota National Guard Specialist James Agada Idoko. When he returned to the USA after a one- ear year deployment with the 247th Finance Detachment, Idoko, 29, was going to take the oath to become a citizen of the United States.

Then the bureaucracy got in the way.

Idoko’s wife and family are still in Nigeria and like the other members of his unit, which returned to Roseville today, one of the first things he wanted to do was see his family. He plans to fly to Nigeria tonight. If he were a U.S. citizen, however, he’d need a passport to get back into the United States and he doesn’t have a passport because he’s not a U.S. citizen.

It takes weeks to get a passport so the National Guard canceled the ceremony today. Idoko will go visit his family, get back into the country as a Nigerian, and then become a citizen.

Idoko has been a corrections officer for Minnesota since 2005. He applied for citizenship in March 2006.

“It’s a great country,” he said Thursday.

  • “a one-ear deployment”

    Poor guy.

    He was on duty with the Van Gogh light infantry division, perhaps? Or, did they just send one of his ears? Seems somewhat ineffective as a military strategy.

    Just teasing ya, Bob. Great story made even better by the funny typo.

    Never would have heard about this if it weren’t for this great blog. Thank you.

  • GregS

    Wonderful story, Bob!

    Damned proud to have guys like Mr. Idoko coming to our country!!