Blast turns citizenship rite into GI memorial
Schofield Barracks Spc. Farid Elazzouzi, killed by a homemade bomb June 14 in Kirkuk before he could be sworn in as a naturalized citizen, was honored at a Fourth of July ceremony in Iraq.
Elazzouzi would have received his citizenship at the ceremony. Instead, he became a U.S. citizen posthumously, according to news reports.
Elazzouzi was recognized along with Sgt. Kimel Watt, another soldier killed in Iraq before he received his citizenship.
"Words can not express the admiration I feel for these two men or the sadness I feel for our nation's loss and their families' sacrifice," said Army Gen. David Petraeus, commanding general of the Multinational Force-Iraq, at a re-enlistment and American citizenship ceremony in Baghdad.
Elazzouzi, 26, was from Morocco, where his wife and family still reside. He joined the Army shortly after he came to the United States in March 2005. He and two other members of the 25th Infantry Division's 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Infantry Combat Team, were killed when a homemade bomb exploded near their Humvee while they were on patrol.