Photo Information

Pfc. Andrews Nsenkyire, squad leader for his personnel administration class, leads students in formation aboard Camp Johnson, July 26. Nsenkyire, previously from Ghana, West Africa, won an immigration visa in 2012 and joined the Marine Corps for a better life.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Josua W. Grant

Ghana native’s Marine dream comes true

31 Jul 2013 | Lance Cpl. Joshua W. Grant

Some people only dream of coming to America for a better life. For one Marine, his dream became reality in 2012.

Pfc. Andrews K. Nsenkyire, a personnel and administration student aboard Camp Johnson, is one of only 5,832 applicants from the Republic of Ghana, a West Africa country of more than 24 million citizens, who won the opportunity to apply for an immigration visa in 2012.

Nsenkyire received notification from a teacher he had won the immigration visa lottery, just five months after graduating high school in Ghana.

“I was happy,” said Nsenkyire. “I wanted to come to the United States to join the military so I could bring my mother, four brothers and sister here. If it weren’t for that, I wouldn’t be here.”

To pay for paperwork and travel expenses, Nsenkyire sold almost all of his personal belongings, including his computer, television and motorcycle. He even rented his room out in order to collect money.

Nsenkyire was able to pay for the paperwork, but his visa sponsor bought him the plane ticket, which brought him to the U.S., May 4, 2012.

“The first thing I asked when I got here was ‘How hard is it to join the Army?’” said Nsenkyire. “They told me it’s not like Ghana. In Ghana, you have to pay money for the forms to join the Army.”

When Nsenkyire went to the recruiting station with his friend who was trying to join the Navy, a Marine Corps recruiter stopped and talked to him, but he told the recruiter he wanted to join the Army.

“It was the first time I had heard about the Marine Corps. We don’t have Marines in Ghana,” said Nsenkyire. “The recruiter tried to convince me, but I wasn’t really into it until I asked my brother what he knew about Marines. He just said one thing; the Marines are the best fighting force in the world.”

Just two months after coming to the United States, Nsenkyire began his paperwork to join the Marines.

“I was supposed to go on April 8,” said Nsenkyire. “I was always talking to my recruiter, I wanted to go early. One day he called me and said he got room in the schedule and I was shipping out in January.”

Nsenkyire graduated boot camp and Marine Combat Training early in 2013 and is currently attending personnel administration school aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Johnson. He is slated to graduate as an administration specialist, Aug. 2.

Nsenkyire stated much of his success in the Marine Corps can be attributed to his determined instructors at Camp Johnson.

“He is very focused. He’s wanted a leadership position since he arrived here and currently is a squad leader,” said Staff Sgt. Alondra Coiradas, one of Nsenkyires’ personnel administration instructors. “After finding out a little bit more about him, it amazes me that he just wanted to be a Marine.

Coiradas added Nsenkyire is a Marine who will do great things in his life.

“Nsenkyire has overcome coming to the United States and becoming a Marine. He is going to make it happen no matter what obstacle he faces,” said Coiradas.

His professionalism and ability to lead defines him as a Marine, stated Coiradas.

“It’s very humbling to know we teach Marines from all over the world, so you never know what kind of Marine to expect until you get to know them, talk to them and mentor them,” said Coiradas. “As a personnel administration instructor, you look forward to the Marines who come back in a year or two as meritorious lance corporals or corporals. Nsenkyire is going to be one of those Marines.”

Upon graduation from personnel administration school, Pfc. Nsenkyire will execute orders to Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point.