It’s beautiful how you ended the piece. The question of what constitutes “citizenship” or what it takes to earn it looms over your story.
Why can’t citizenship be what you call “home.” Given the opportunity, I believe that most of us would defend the people near to us, especially our loved ones — regardless of location or where you were born or the legal status of your parents. Being stripped of the USA citizenship is certainly an economic punishment and hardship, but more, it’s the distancing of the individual from “home” — family & friends. In this sense, citizenship is earned through the family and friends you would defend with your life. Every exiled veteran missing community and family is already a citizen of that country. You don’t need a certificate to prove your love. Thinking that a corporate entity like the United States of America loves individuals is a mistake. Love is much closer to the heart; it is who you kiss and protect. It is at home — the source of citizenship.
Thank you for sharing, Robert.