Local News

Brothers Pledge To Defend Adopted Country As U.S. Soldiers

Posted March 17, 2003 2:50 a.m. EST

— Imagine preparing to go to war for a country where you are not even a citizen. Two soldiers with Fort Bragg's 82nd Airborne Division are doing just that.

Nighel and Bermel Agrippa look like any other soldiers. When you speak to them, it is clear there is something that sets them apart.

"I have to say I'm from South America first, then explain I'm from Guyana, bordered by Brazil, Venezuela," Nighel said.

The brothers had been trying to immigrate to the United State since the mid-1980s. In August 2001, they made the move. A month later, planes flew into the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon.

"After that, things changed," Bermel said.

"After Sept. 11 happened, I didn't feel safe anymore," Nighel said.

The pair decided the only thing to do was join the Army. They said it is a place where they feel safe.

"In the Army there is no color. Just one color. Everybody treats you with respect," Nighel said.

Even though they are not U.S. citizens, these brothers believe the United States is a country worth fighting for.

"America's the only country that actually will stand up and go to the front and say 'This is wrong,'" Nighel said.

"This is history being made here. To be part of it is good. To be on the good side and not the bad is a plus," Bermel said.

The brothers believe America has offered them opportunities they were not afforded in Guyana. They said serving in the Army is their way of repaying the country they now call home.