“After becoming a citizen I definitely learned that freedom isn’t free,” said Bilicich, the G-3 platoon sergeant for Headquarters and Service Company, Headquarters Battalion, 3rd Marine Division. “Some people in the world travel far just to become citizens.”
The U.S. Constitution is one of the most renowned documents to date in the founding of the United States. To many, the old piece of parchment is a physical representation of the structure of the American government. This document establishes freedoms of religion, speech and rights for many Americans and foreigners.
U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Branko Bilicich is a great example to the manner in which the Constitution works and with Constitution Day approaching, Bilicich says he cannot help but be thankful for having the right to become an American citizen.
Bilicich, a native of Cali, Colombia, enlisted in the Marine Corps in March of 2004.
“I enlisted in the Marine Corps for a few different reasons,” said Bilicich. “Not only did I want to be a part of the tradition, but I feel like I really had to prove something to myself.”
The Marine Corps provided Bilicich an opportunity to serve and gave him a chance to become a naturalized U.S. citizen.
“After becoming a citizen I definitely learned that freedom isn’t free,” said Bilicich. “Some people in the world travel far just to become citizens.”
Bilicich says the route he took to become a citizen is different for many immigrants coming to America because becoming a citizen through the U.S. military is an amazing and rewarding feat.
“Highlighting Constitution Day is definitely important,” said Bilicich. “It recognizes the people who have done anything and everything to become a citizen of this great nation, and I couldn’t be prouder.”
Story by Lance Cpl. Jared Siniscalchi