- Posted June 30, 2014 by
Prescott Valley, Arizona
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Your immigration stories
Immigrant from Austria
I am writing my husband, Christi'ans story, as he passed away in 2011.
He was raised in an orphanage in Gras, Austria and drafted i to the Austrian Army as a teenager. He ran away (deserted) a week later; a 30 year prison sentence. (He left the country and went to several countries, learning several languages, often living on the streets..) In Austria, he knew his mother and grandparents, but had to live in an orphanage since he had no parent to support him and didn't know his father.
(orphanages replace 'welfare' in Austria.)
He came to America at age 21, and knew no English. He learned partially by watching cartoons.
He married a woman and joined the US Army, where he served our country as an immigrant for several years.
Since he knew other European languages, he was stationed , securing the German Border and was able to go into Austria, appearing to be an American soldier, which he was , and could visit his mother and grandparents. (as long as he didn't speak, they would never hear his strong Austrian accent or know he was not a born American)
He studied and became a naturalized citizen later.
He was a Professional baker and chef and had a Landscaping business.
His only medical care was through the VA. He complained of undiagnosed pain for 13 years. Finally he was diagnosed with stage 1 Esophageal Cancer. The Phoenix surgeon and his Primary Care Physician argued for several months, throughout 2010, about an outside referral for surgery, neither aware that the VA in Tuscon performed the needed surgery to save his life.
He died a few months later at age 55.
He was heartbroken that he had served this country and then their promises to serve him were thwarted.
- My life