Magazine article The New American

Citizen Sanft. (the Goodness of America)

Magazine article The New American

Citizen Sanft. (the Goodness of America)

Article excerpt

On September 24th, after a struggle spanning more than three decades, Ramon Sanft of Provo, Utah, at last realized his dream of becoming an American citizen. Sanft, 56, is an operations manager for a moving and storage company in Orem, Utah, for which he has worked for 31 years. He arrived in the United States from Tonga at age 12 and fought as a Marine in Vietnam, receiving a Purple Heart as a result of shrapnel wounds suffered from an exploding mine. Utah State Senator Curt Bramble, who was instrumental in helping him overcome a number of vexing bureaucratic hurdles on the road to citizenship, believes that the "description of Ramon as a war hero is an understatement of his character. Ramon is one of those rare individuals who lives and breathes the words 'patriot' and 'salt of the earth.'"

A profile of Sanft in Salt Lake City's Deseret News for September 26th summarized his education in the ways of government bureaucracy. Describing him as one of Uncle Sam's "truest, red-white-and-bluest sons," News reporter Gib Twyman recalled that "a records center burned down in St. Louis, destroying copies of Ramon's honorable discharge. It took months of persistence to produce duplicates from storage in Washington, D.C." Then "another service document, certifying a clean record while on duty, kept snagging along the paper path."

In a bizarre fingerprint situation, "officials said Ramon's hands were too calloused to get good impressions," so he had to wear "salve and gloves for weeks" before eventually passing the fingerprint test. And regarding his alleged "police record," he had been in a street fight as a teenager prior to joining the Marines. …

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