Father of soldier killed in action becomes U.S. citizen

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- As 5-year-old Evelyn recites the pledge of allegiance with her family members vigorously waving American flags at McCormic-Stillman Railroad Park, there is no doubt the Vieyras are patriotic.

The City of Scottsdale’s Veterans Day Commemoration is a bittersweet day for Evelyn and her family.
They are there to remember Evelyn’s mother Barbara, a U.S. Army solider who was killed in 2010. The 22-year-old’s unit was attacked by insurgents with improvised explosive devices.
“She sees all her Army people, so she’s thinking about her mom,” said Lupe Vieyra, Barbara’s sister.
This is not just a Veterans Day celebration, however. It is also a naturalization ceremony.
Barbara’s father Raul is finally becoming a U.S. citizen, a fitting tribute to a man whose daughter died while serving the country he loves.
“I think he has shown with his dedication to this country and his love of this country and his family and love of the country with serving in the military that they are completely a part of the United States,” said Marie Sebrechts, Regional Manager of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Raul and his family members have been dairy workers in Mesa for more than two decades. When Barbara wanted to serve in the U.S. military, she got her father’s blessing.
“He was honored and thrilled,” said Sebrechts.
Losing his daughter gave Raul the push he needed to complete his citizenship process. His other daughter, Lupe, said her sister Barbra would have been so proud of her dad.
“She would have been very, very happy,” she said.