One of the translators who works here stopped me the day before yesterday to ask if I might be able to help him. He's not one of the interpreters SPC C and I have worked with, and it's still not clear to me why he came to me.
He's looking for help getting a visa to the United States so that he can live there long enough to be able to join the United States Army and serve as a linguist. He's actually been to the U.S. three times now in his pursuit of this dream, but each time has failed in his quest.
I told him repeatedly that I'm not someone who has any influence whatsoever, and that I have absolutely no familiarity with immigration issues. Undeterred, he asked me to hang onto a rather thick sheaf of papers overnight, so I could peruse his work experience of the past fifteen years.
He's worked for KFOR as a translator for quite a while now, and most of that time he's worked directly for U.S. personnel.
He pulled a faded photograph of his father from his wallet and showed it to me. The man in the snapshot was wearing the uniform of the Yugoslav Army. He had many medals pinned to his chest.
"I'm almost 41 years old now. I don't have much time left before I'll be too old to enlist in the U.S. Army. I've been actively trying to become a U.S. Soldier for seven years now, because I love the United States of America so much."
"I just want my son some day to be able to take a photograph of *his* father, wearing the uniform of the United States Army, out of his wallet to show to someone else, with the same pride as I had when I showed you the photo of my father, Sir."
Blessings and peace to one and all,
Fr. Tim, SJ