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In May of 2016, this heart-stopping photo of a young 2nd Lieutenant graduating from West Point went viral. Due to the events of yesterday, it’s making the rounds again, so I thought I’d share his inspirational story.

Alix Idrache was brought to the U.S. by his father Dieujuste, who had dropped out of school at the age of 14 to find work. Dieujuste migrated to America, wanting his children to have the opportunities he didn’t have. In 2009, he was able to bring Alix over as well. In seven short years Alix went from living in a working-class neighborhood in Port-au-Prince and speaking basic English, to graduating from one of the most prestigious military schools in the U.S. Here’s what he posted on Instagram to explain why that day meant so much to him.

Three things came to mind and led to those tears. The first is where I started. I am from Haiti and never did I imagine that such an honor would be one day bestowed on me. The second is where I am. Men and women who have preserved the very essence of the human condition stood in that position and took the same oath…The third is my future. Shortly after leave, I will report to Ft. Rucker to start flight school. Knowing that one day I will be a pilot is humbling beyond words. I could not help but be flooded with emotions knowing that I will be leading these men and women who are willing to give their all to preserve what we value as the American way of life. To me, that is the greatest honor. Once again, thank you.

The following day, Alix wrote another message on his Facebook page in response to the outpouring of support.

I woke up this morning and found my face all over Facebook and with it myriad of amazing comments about my accomplishments. I am humbled and shocked at the same time. Thank you for giving me a shot at the American Dream and may God bless America, the greatest country on earth.

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Alix Idrache is a perfect example of why we need immigrants from different countries, races, religions,  and different socio-economic backgrounds. They overwhelmingly give back to this country so much more than what they take.

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