|Warrior born of two nations|
1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division
Story by Staff Sgt. Christopher Blakeslee
ZABUL PROVINCE, Afghanistan (Jan. 31, 2013) - Army Spc. Cristian Paul, a cavalry scout attached to Headquarter and Headquarter Company, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, Third Infantry Division, Combined Task Force Raider, and native of Orande, Romania, is a warrior born of two nations.
While being born and raised in Romanian, his dream as a young boy was to become an American citizen, which became a reality not all that long ago.
“In 2011 I earned my American citizenship,” said a proud Spc. Paul. “It was a dream come true. It was just awesome,” added Spc. Paul, who claims Hallandale, Fla., as his new home.
While the road was long and hard to become an American citizen, Spc. Paul never lost his faith in God and believed at some point his prayers would be answered.
“I went to seminary in Romania, and took a job as a pastor,” said Spc. Paul. “Faith is an important part of me and my Family. I knew at some point God would answer my prayers and allow me to at least go to America to visit.”
While becoming an American was a dream for this Romanian, and something he is proud of, there is something even more important to this scout that he holds above all else. In addition to being a proud soldier and patriotic citizen, Spc. Paul is a doting father to three children and is happily married to the love of his life, his Romanian sweetheart of 15 years.
“My wife’s name is Ioana and we have been married for 15 years. We have three children, Alex (12), Jonathan (seven) and Julia (four). My family is my life. It’s what I’m most proud of,” added a proud and smiling Spc. Paul.
When he is off duty, the Paul’s enjoy spending time in the great outdoors together exploring all the beauty and wonders the different federal, state and local park systems offer in the South.
“I enjoy bike riding and going to the different parks systems around Fort Stewart,” said Spc. Paul. “I think we [Family] have been to every park from Savannah, Ga., to Jacksonville, Fla., and a few in South Carolina.”
One thing is for certain, Spc. Paul’s desire to serve in the Army is a credit to his upbringing. His love of God, family, duty and country makes this Raider a valuable asset to the 1ABCT, one that can be called upon to assist and accomplish much with very little.
While he is proud of his Romanian heritage, Spc. Paul chose to serve in the American Armed Forces, thus making him a warrior born of two nations, and cementing a lasting legacy for his children.
Army Spc. Cristian Paul, a cavalry scout attached to Headquarter and Headquarter Company, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, Third Infantry Division, Combined Task Force Raider, and native born Romanian, became an American citizen in 2009, and is currently serving alongside Romanian solder at Forward Operating Base Apache, Zabul province, Afghanistan. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Blakeslee, 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team PAO, Third Infantry Division)