SEPTEMBER 27, 2016, NORFOLK, Va (NNS) – Thousands of people from all over the world migrate to the United States seeking the ‘American Dream’ of achieving success and prosperity through hard work, determination and the initiative of living well.
Data collected by the Department of Homeland Security in 2014, showed that people from various countries migrated to the United States to become citizens; the majority of immigrants came from Mexico, India, Philippines, and the People’s Republic of China.
And in the pursuit of the American dream immigrants sometimes join the United States Navy.
For one Bataan Sailor Airman Bo Lu, a Chinese immigrant, moving to the U.S. meant a better quality of life. The pursuit of his dream became a reality in 2011, when Lu, then 24, finally made it to Los Angeles, from Shijiazhuang, China.
A year after being in the U.S. he met his wife, Queena, and in March 2015 and they had a son, Daniel. Knowing that washing dishes in a restaurant couldn’t provide the life he came to the U.S. for, he started driving commercial trucks for a living. However, Lu wanted more for himself and his family. After learning from friends and family that he was eligible to join the military he decided to talk to a Navy recruiter at Navy Recruiting Station Pasadena, Calif.
“When people told me I could join the United States military I didn’t believe them,” said Lu.
When he walked into the recruiting station he was welcomed by a recruiter, who was glad to explain to Lu all the benefits and opportunities of joining the Navy. After visiting the recruiting station Lu and his wife decided that him enlisting was a good decision for them.
Lu reported to Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Ill., Feb. 24, 2016. After basic training he went to Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla. for his Airman schooling. Once his training was complete in June Lu reported to the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5).
“We are the greatest Navy in the world because we have people from very diverse backgrounds in our forces,” said Lu.
Joining the military also made becoming a citizen much easier, Lu mentioned. He said without the military it could have taken him over five years to be granted citizenship.
“Serving on the Bataan has been a positive experience and inspires me to continue my career in the Navy,” said Lu.
Bataan has approximately 126 immigrants serving aboard. Lu is just one of many who are important assets to the ship.
According to the Department of Defense more than 65,000 immigrants were serving in the U.S. military in 2008, with one of them being Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handler) 2nd Class Orlando Murillo, a flight deck supervisor aboard Bataan.
Murillo who was born in Honduras, moved to Miami, Fla., with his father in 1993, when Murillo was 15.
“We moved to the United States searching for a better life,” said Murillo.
Murillo joined the Navy in Nov. 2003, and arrived at his first command in April 2004, which happened to be the Bataan. He served aboard the ship until 2009.
“I liked the chain of command on Bataan and I left with a good impression because it was very organized,’ said Murillo.
When he chose his latest set of orders he saw Bataan was available and immediately chose it and checked-in May 2016.
“It’s a great experience being on the Bataan,” said Murillo, “Not many people have the opportunity to see what we see or do what we do.”
Immigrants like Lu and Murillo come to the United States and find their “American Dream” in the Navy.
“The United States has a lot more equal opportunity than China”, said Lu “I like serving in the military of this country, because this is my country now; I’m a citizen.”