Al Navarro, president of Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 343 in Houston, is now a published author. Released in March, A Genuine American Citizen Soldier tells the tale of a young Panamanian man who enlists in the U.S. Army upon being promised U.S. citizenship after three years of service. He gets orders to go to Vietnam while still awaiting citizenship, and participates in many of the war’s bloodiest battles in 1968.
The book is semiautobiographical; though the names have been changed, Navarro was drafted to serve in Vietnam while still on a resident visa. He became a citizen on Dec. 5, 1969, three months after his discharge from the U.S. Army. “Citizenship was important to me because I planned to live in the U.S. and partake in the freedoms and opportunities this great country offers,” Navarro told the Houston Chronicle.
To read the Chronicle’s Q&A with Navarro, click here.