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08 November 2010

Veteran and USCIS Asylum Officer Danny Phillips

Danny Phillips is currently an Asylum Officer with the USCIS Houston Asylum Office. The following was written by Danny and details his military service:
The military is what got me to where I am. I was a high school drop-out. I never considered college as an option because it just was not something that people in my family did. I had always been interested in the military and with no high school diploma the Army was the only branch that was interested in me, so I signed up. Almost immediately I was told that I would have to get my GED to stay in the Army. Next I was told that I could get promotion points by taking college courses, so I started taking random courses from University of Maryland which offers classes on most Army bases. In 1996, while in Bosnia, I got a letter from UofM stating that I had earned an Associate in Arts in General Subjects. It wasn’t much, but it made me realize that I was capable of more than I had considered. I set a goal of obtaining a baccalaureate degree, but had no idea what to major in. 

Danny Phillips at the “Great Ziggurat of Ur” ruins of the ancient Sumerian City of Ur near An-Naziriya, Iraq
Danny Phillips at the “Great Ziggurat of Ur” ruins of the ancient Sumerian City of Ur near An-Naziriya, Iraq

About that time I was taking an undergraduate Constitutional Law class and my professor convinced I too could go to law school. I left the regular Army in 2002 and joined the National Guard.  I started law school at University of Houston in the summer of 2002. I was deployed to Afghanistan for one year in the middle of law school, but I came back and graduated in May 2007. It was through the career services office at law school that I found my current job as Asylum Officer and I cannot imagine doing anything else. After one more deployment to Iraq in 2008-2009, I retired from the National Guard with 24 years in service. Despite all my deployments I believe that the Army has given me way more than I ever gave to it.



At December 3, 2010 at 12:26:00 PM EST , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Danny, great article, I am a Vietnam Veteran, on diability and would like to sponsor my wife but have very little money. Do you know if USCIS will waive fees for a disabled vet? Thanks if you can comment. If not it is ok. Thanks for your service.

At April 14, 2011 at 9:34:00 PM EDT , Anonymous LPN to RN said...

That really is an awesome testimony. I really respect soldiers even though I am not one my self. The military would have a been a great route for me to take as a young rebellious fellow. By the grace of God, I made it anyhow, but it's been hard for lack of experience and education


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