By Rosemary Pollock
LDS Man, Long a Patriot, Becomes Citizen
PROVO, UTAH -- Ramon Sanft, 56, of Provo Utah was officially sworn in Monday
as a U. S. citizen after a long bureaucratic battle. Many friends and
neighbors describe Sanft as an already beautiful American and one of Uncle
Sam's most red-white-and-blue sons. Sanft arrived in the Salt Lake area at
the age of 12 from Tonga and later fought as a Marine in Vietnam where he
earned a Purple Heart.
"The description of Ramon as a war hero is an understatement of his
character," said Utah Sen.Curt Bramble, R-Provo. "Ramon is one of those rare
individuals who lives and breathes the words 'patriot' and 'salt of the
earth,'" Bramble added. Sanft is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints and is currently serving in the bishopric in the Edgemont
16th Ward. "He loves his country so much, so loyal, so sincere, he made me
want to become what he is, a better American," said Lena Vaieland, a
co-worker of Sue Sanft, Ramon's wife.
Holding a letter from the President after being sworn in by Steve Branch,
officer in charge of Salt Lake City's Immigration and Naturalization, the
soft-spoken Santf said, "This is what I fought for. This is what I was
wounded for." Many devoted people in both the state and federal government
worked endlessly to have Sanft see this day. "It just kept getting lost
between here and there," said Corey Norman, a caseworker in the office of
Rep. Chris Cannon, R-Utah, where the swearing in took place.
"I think Corey got cauliflower ear on the phone," Ramon said. Shahara Santf,
Ramon's daughter, and one of his six children, worked tirelessly on the
paperwork blizzard to get him naturalized. Now that Ramon's a citizen, the
"Star Spangled Banner" means its time to vote. "If I get rolling, I can make
the November elections," Santf said.
"I can finally travel overseas with my wife. Maybe Germany first because the
boys were there," he said referring to his three missionary sons. "All I can
say is that my dad is finally a true American," said daughter Sahara. "He
fought a long time to become what many people take for granted everyday."
Patriot finally becomes citizen
Deseret News 25Sep01 P2
By Gib Twyman: Deseret News staff writer