Thursday, December 02, 2004

Iraq's Gravity Pulls a Soldier Down

From the not normally so thoughtful Village Voice - PolPop

A fateful path from Nigeria, through Brooklyn, to war

by Kareem Fahim

Among the family, friends, and colleagues who inhabited his short life, the broad, handsome National Guardsman went by several names.

His college professors and classmates knew him as Lekan, a shy, diligent student working toward a bachelor's degree in computer science. The men from Alpha Company, 108th Infantry Regiment out of New York State, called the Nigerian-born machine gunner with the deep voice by his last name, Akintade. His family, many of whom traveled from Lagos two weeks ago to mourn their boy, just called him Sunday, for the day he was born.

And to the surrogate family he had gathered in Flatbush since he immigrated to the U.S. in 1997—Liyah Njoroge, his Kenyan fiancée; Lawrence Koleosho, his "cousin"; and Ojo Oyebisi, another friend—he was just Freddie. . .


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