Army Pvt. Byron W. Fouty and Army Sgt. Alex Jimenez plus one other soldier from the 10th Mountain Division were kidnapped in May 2007. From AP–
DETROIT – For more than a year, Gordon Dibler held out hope that his stepson, Army Pvt. Byron W. Fouty, would return home from Iraq. Then military officials delivered the grim news that the body of Fouty and another soldier captured during an ambush south of Baghdad had been found.
“Every day that he’s been missing has been a day of `what could have been’ … but after hearing the news … I’m still in shock,” Dibler said Thursday, after military officials came to his Oxford home and told him his stepson’s body was one of two discovered in the Iraqi village of Jurf as Sakhr.
Fouty, 19, of Waterford, Mich., and Army Sgt. Alex Jimenez, 25, of Lawrence, Mass., were kidnapped in May 2007 in the volatile area south of Baghdad known as the “triangle of death.” The body of a third captured soldier, Pfc. Joseph Anzack Jr., 20, of Torrance, Calif., was found in the Euphrates River a year later.
Jimenez’s father, Ramon “Andy” Jimenez, said he also received a visit Thursday from military officials who told him that his son’s body and some of his son’s personal effects had been discovered in Iraq. Speaking through a translator, he said the news “shattered all hope” the family had to “see Alex walk home on his own.”
The military would not immediately confirm the mens’ reports; the Pentagon generally waits 24 hours after notifying the next of kin before making a release public.
The men were identified using dental records, Dibler said, adding that the bodies of both soldiers were taken to Dover, Del., where military officials are expected to perform further tests to positively identify both men and determine a cause of death.
“It’s a very sad relief,” Dibler said. “But I know I have to go forward, not just for our family, but for the other men and women who are still doing their job over there.”
He said he spent much of Thursday on the phone talking with family and friends, including Andy Jimenez. The soldiers’ families had become friends over the past year, and Dibler said he always considered the two missing soldiers “our nation’s sons.”
“Byron went to Iraq to help people who couldn’t help themselves,” he said, adding that conditions there have since improved. “I know their sacrifice was not for nothing. It was not in vain.”
Urena said the Jimenez family expects to receive Alex Jimenez’s body in five days.
“He’s very thankful for everybody from the community in Lawrence and throughout the U.S. who have provided him support during the difficult time the family has been through during the past 14 months,” Urena said of Andy Jimenez.
The three soldiers, from the Fort Drum, N.Y.-based 10th Mountain Division, disappeared on May 12, 2007, after insurgents ambushed their combat team 20 miles outside Baghdad. An Iraqi soldier and four other Americans from the same unit were killed in the attack.
God bless the Fouty, Jimenez, and Anzack families.
That the remains of Alex Jimenez were found, will certainly clear up the immigration status of his wife Yaderlin.
The wife of an American soldier missing in action in the Iraq War faces another potential crisis at home: deportation.
Yaderlin Jimenez’s husband, Army Spc. Alex R. Jimenez, a Purple Heart recipient, disappeared when his unit was ambushed by insurgents May 12.
Now the immigration status of his Dominican-born wife, who illegally entered the country in 2001 and married Jimenez in June 2004, hangs in limbo.
At a dramatic hearing in immigrant court April 29, 2006, where Jimenez appeared in full-dress uniform alongside his wife, Judge Philip J. Montante granted the couple a temporary reprieve — putting a stop to the proceedings until Jimenez returned from what would be his second tour of duty.
Even an illegal alien spouse is protected by the Armed Force Naturalization Act OF 2003, part of which reads-
(1) SPOUSES- Notwithstanding the second sentence of section 201(b)(2)(A)(i), a person who is the surviving spouse of a person granted posthumous citizenship under this section, and who was living in marital union with the citizen spouse at the time of death, shall be considered, for purposes of section 201(b), to remain an immediate relative after the date of the citizen’s death, but only until the date on which the surviving spouse remarries.
Alex Jimenez gave his life for the United States of America. We at least owe his wife Yaderlin the right to legally live in this country.
Some may disagree with me or the above mentioned law. One is certain to be Mark Krikorian Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies. Mr Krikorian speaking about another US soldier with a illegal alien spouse–
“What you’re talking about is amnesty for illegal immigrants who have a relative in the armed forces, and that’s just outrageous,” he said. “What we’re talking about here is letting lawbreakers get away with their actions just because they have a relative in the military. … There’s no justification for that kind of policy.”
Mark Krikorian is probably bursting a blood vessel or blowing a head gasket about now knowing Yaderlin Jimenez can now live in the United States permanently if she wishes. God bless that Knucklehead too.