Sunday, April 25, 2010

Papua New Guinea youngster becomes US citizen, Marine Corps

Papua New Guinean Granger Michael was last Friday welcomed by US President Barack Obama at the White House as a citizen of the USA as well as a US Marine Corp serving and protecting US interests and aspirations abroad.

Proud parents, Graham and Celine Michael, said at the weekend that their eldest son, Granger, and PNG, were specifically mentioned by President Obama during the ceremony.

Mr Michael is a former PNG diplomat at the PNG Embassy in Washington DC.

President Obama spoke at a naturalisation ceremony for 24 members of the US Forces.

The ceremony recognises the contributions made by immigrant members of the US armed forces who have earned their American citizenship through service to the country, and the contributions immigrants from all walks of life have made to the US throughout its history.

President Obama commended all 24 men and women for choosing to become US citizens and named PNG and Granger Michael in his address.

“And it’s the patriotism of a young man from Papua New Guinea, who joined the United States Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq -  not once, not twice, but three times,” he said to much applause.

“Asked why he would choose to become an American citizen, he said simply, ‘I might as well.  I love this country already’.

“And so we congratulate Granger Michael.”

Pres Obama commended the parents, who he said “were willing to say good-bye to their own families, their own countries, so they could have an opportunity to give you the opportunity you never had”. 

“Like generations of immigrants before them, they worked hard,” he said.

“They scrimped and they saved. 

“They deferred their own dreams so that you could realise yours. 

“So today is a tribute to their sacrifices as well. 

“And I would ask that you join me in honoring your moms and dads and the families that helped bring you to this day.”

Both video and transcript of President Obama’s speech are available online, the video at and transcript at

“As you will note from the video, our eldest son, Granger L Michael, and Papua New Guinea, were specifically mentioned by the president of the United States of America, Barack H Obama during the ceremony,” the parents said in an email.

“We are so proud of his accomplishments first as our son, second as a US Marine Corp serving and protecting US interests and aspirations abroad, and finally as family and friend to so many of you.

 “We hope you join us on this occasion to mark another milestone in Granger's blessed journey through life.”


  1. Congratulations to Granger L. Michael for becoming a US Marine. It's an exciting life for any young serviceman doing a noble profession defending the security and national interests of the US.

    PNG is also very proud of your achievements and we will watch your career with interest in future. You have made your parents, family and country proud of you. Well done Granger and keep up the good work.

  2. Dorah Gawi1:37 PM

    Well Done! Granger Micheal. You're parents and I'm sure the rest of PNG are very proud of your achievement.

    It's one thing to live in America, and another altogether to serve as a soldier in the marine Corp to fight terrorism.

    Good Luck and may the Good Lord guide and protect you always.

  3. Anonymous1:47 AM

    Before the 1990's there were few Africans (direct immigrants) in the U.S., then African immigrants started to appear, I hope more Papuan to come into the U.S., the government must promote immigration from Papua New Guinea, there are many favorable factors, the English is the official language in Papua New Guinea, there are many Nigerians in the U.S., Why not seeing many Papuans in the U.S., also the population of Irian Jaya (a Papuan Province possessed by Asian Indonesians) is suffering from the the politics of Indonesia, occupation of their lands, massive immigration of Indonesians, repression, I think that many Papuans from Irian Jaya should seek asylum in the U.S.

  4. Good luck Granger Micheal. Live your dreams in US Marine Corps. Hope you can one day share your experiences with our PNGDF soldiers..