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War Hero's Family Thrown Out Of US

Discussion in 'Veteran's Forum' started by Sixgun_Symphony, Apr 7, 2005.

  1. Sixgun_Symphony

    Sixgun_Symphony NRA4EVR

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    Apr 16, 2002
    War hero's family thrown out of US

    THE Melbourne widow of US soldier killed in Iraq has told how she has been betrayed by George Bush's bureaucrats and ostracised by her own countrymen.

    A grieving Corey Shanaberger -- whose husband won the Silver Star for gallantry in action -- says her young family has been confronted by hostility from some locals since she has returned home.
    Only two months after her American husband gave his life defending his comrades, her son was declared an illegal in the US because of a bureaucratic bungle, she said.

    Not only does the family lose $7000 a year in survivor benefits, but she fears her son Jesse will miss a special dedication in honour of the war hero.

    Mrs Shanaberger's husband, Sgt First Class Wentz "Baron" Shanaberger, died in an ambush in March last year.

    Next year the US Army will further recognise his sacrifice by naming its new Fort Bragg military police complex in his honour. But Jesse, 13, may not be allowed into the country for the dedication ceremony, Mrs Shanaberger fears.

    She and Jesse -- fathered by her previous husband -- moved to the US to be with her new love when her son was still a baby.

    But last May, when US social security officers were calculating how much Mrs Shanaberger and her four children should receive in survivor benefits, she was told there was no record of Jesse having been a US resident.

    She protested that the Immigration Department must have lost his papers, as she had completed the residency paperwork for both of them and they even underwent their physical checks together.

    But despite taking her case to the US President's brother, Florida's Governor Jed Bush, the Immigration Department would not budge, she said.

    Disillusioned, Mrs Shanaberger decided to move her children to Melbourne, to be closer to her family.

    Now, she is struggling in Burnside to raise four children on $35,000 a year in survivor benefits, with a $7000 annual entitlement for Jesse being withheld.

    She is spending $1000 again to apply for a US residency for Jesse a second time.

    But the residency application could take up to six years to process, she has been told. Jesse was banned from even visiting the US for the next three years.

    "His dad was wearing the US uniform and had the US flag on his arm when he died," Mrs Shanaberger said. "Jesse is just as much my husband's child as his brother and sisters are, but now feels like he is excluded."

    And the transition from life in a US military community to suburban Melbourne has been even tougher in many ways for Mrs Shanaberger and her children -- Jesse, Audrey, 5, and twins Jack and Grace, 4.

    "People (here) have called the soldiers murderers," she said. "And Jesse feels at school that he is always having to justify his dad's actions.",5481,12735152,00.html