TIFFIN -- Just a few weeks ago we told you about Lance Corporal Jeremy Shock, a Marine from Green Springs who was killed in the war in Iraq. Now his wife, Clara, is left to cope with losing him and possibly losing her dream of American citizenship. The Marines are on her side and she just spoke with a member of Congress, but at this point, she doesn't know what will happen.
Clara came to America from Ecuador seven years ago with a dream. "I came to experience a little bit of the culture, learn some English and I just kept staying longer and longer," Clara said.
She stayed long enough to get her MBA from Tiffin University, and to fall in love and marry Jeremy Shock this past April. After 4 short months of marriage, her dream began to unravel when Jeremy was deployed to serve with his fellow Marines in Iraq.
It was in November that she got the devastating news. Jeremy was killed when the Humvee he was driving was hit by a roadside bomb. The Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 24th Marines returned his body to Green Springs, where hundreds packed a church for his funeral.
It gets worse for Clara. "I have been here the last seven years with a student visa and now I'm on a work visa and I was in the process of applying for citizenship with my marriage," said Clara. But since Jeremy is no longer alive, she's worried all of the U.S. citizenship paperwork they filled out together is no longer valid and that she'll be forced to leave.
"I feel like a piece of my heart is here, even though it's not my home town," said Clara. She now lives in Tiffin, where she went to college. "I have my friends here and the people are so amazing that I can't leave them behind."
Monday morning she will leave them to go to Ecuador and grieve with her family. Her return to the states is in the hands of the American Embassy in Quito, Ecuador. "I have to present them my status and they can approve at that point whether I can come back or not," said Clara.
So for now, those hopes and dreams she worked so hard to achieve are in the hands of the government -- the same government her husband fought so proudly to defend. "My main purpose is to be close to Jeremy here and his hometown and his family," Clara said, "I think it would be important to him as well."
Count on News 11 to follow this story as it develops.
Posted by AEB