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Archived from our former blog, The Beacon.
Veteran and USCIS Asylum Officer Danny Phillips
Danny Phillips is currently an Asylum Officer with the USCIS
Asylum Office. The following was written by Danny and details his military service: Houston
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
which offers classes on most Army bases. In 1996, while in University of Maryland , 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. Bosnia
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
in the summer of 2002. I was deployed to University of Houston 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 Afghanistan 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. Iraq