Diplomatic Passport

Relationship: Child of im/migrant

I enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1980.  After two years, I wanted more.  I wanted special duty, a new assignment that was challenging, competitive, and highly selective. I received orders to report to Quantico, Virginia for Marine Security Guard School, an assignment that would require me to undergo intense screening to obtain a government security clearance and be available for worldwide deployment. Upon graduation, I told my family that I was going to work at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate as the security force. They were more fascinated in my ‘black’ colored passport, the same type of passport that U.S. diplomats use.  This was an American dream fulfilled.  My father, a restaurant waiter, and my mother, a factory worker, immigrated to the U.S. from Taishan, China.  When I was a teenager, he corrected my New York birth certificate to show my true last name because he had come to the U.S. using the false name of a “paper son.”  Now, I was a 19-year-old Marine who was not only serving the U.S. government, but serving in a selective and special duty.  It was the beginning of something big and I didn’t have a clue.  But, I knew it was remarkable that a child of an illegal immigrant could serve in the Marine Corps, earn a top security clearance, and travel to U.S. Embassy Prague and U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong for assignments with a diplomatic passport.  Once a Marine, always a Marine.  Semper Fidelis.

By Martin

Place(s): Quantico, Virginia; Taishan, China

– Gabriella Chu, Seoul Foreign School, 1882 Foundation Me + 3 Fellow

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant