Full Name: ROBERT LEROY LAZEAR
Date of Birth: 2/21/1937
Date of Casualty: 4/15/1967
Home of Record: WELLSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA
Branch of Service: ARMY
Casualty Country: SOUTH VIETNAM
Casualty Province: LONG AN
The Philadelphia Inquirer – May 11, 1967
GI's Widow Is New Citizen
May 10, 1967 – Mrs. Renate Lazear, who was told 10 days ago that her husband's death by sniper fire in Vietnam on April 15 would delay her citizenship for five months, took her oath of allegiance at a special ceremony Wednesday. She then met her new nation's most important citizen, President Johnson.
The President met privately with Mrs. Lazear and two of her four children, Peter, 10, and Craig, 8, in the White House rose garden for about 10 minutes shortly before noon.
“He told me he was very happy I got my citizenship,” Mrs. Lazear said. “I was a little nervous, and he was very nice.”
Two hours before, Mrs. Lazear, 29, had stood in the Prince George's county courthouse in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, repeating in her soft but perfect English the naturalization oath.
At the end of the brief ceremony, Circuit Court Judge Ernest A. Loveless told her. “…You are a symbol of conquest over those misguided persons who spit upon and tear and even burn the Flag of this great country.”
When Mrs. Lazear reported to the same courthouse to take the same oath on May 1, she was told that her application would have to be reprocessed to reflect her new status of widow rather than wife.
She had not learned of her husband's death until after she told of the May 1 ceremony, and the next regular session is scheduled for September.
H.L. Woolwine, district director of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, cut through the red tape for her. He arranged the special ceremony – but not the meeting with the President, which was set up by the White House late Tuesday.
“I'm very happy it's all over,” Mrs. Lazear said, “but it was all so exciting.”
LAZEAR, ROBERT L
- 1 LT USA
- DATE OF BIRTH: 02/21/1937
- DATE OF DEATH: 04/15/1967
- BURIED AT: SECTION 3 SITE 2062-N
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
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Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard