Proudly Embracing New Home ... USA
by U.S. Army Pfc. Cecilia Ochoa
February 3, 2024
When it came time to make a life changing decision, a 4th Infantry Division Soldier launched himself into a new territory to get out of his comfort zone, while staying true to his roots.
After moving away from Togo, Africa to find a new home, U.S. Army Spc. Kananda Kankre, an infantryman with 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Inf. Div., felt determined to adapt to his new environment and create new bonds with those around him.
January 24, 2024 - U.S. Army Spc. Kananda Kankre, an infantryman with 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, at Fort Carson, Colorado. (Image created by USA Patriotism! from U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Cecilia Ochoa.)
Although there are moments when Kankre misses his immediate family, he takes advantage of any opportunity to catch up and stay connected despite the distance between, said Kankre.
Kankre said he has created new bonds with people throughout his journey in the military.
“There are a lot of people I can rely on even if we are not stationed in the same place,” said Kankre. “I have made supportive friends that I can call anytime I need help.”
Even though Kankre is far from home, he continues to live by customs he was taught at a young age to preserve knowledge passed down to him.
To show respect to an elder or an authority figure, he will place one hand under the other when going for a handshake as a way to acknowledge their importance.
Despite having to move to a new environment, Kankre was excited to learn about a new culture. He said language barriers and new customs did not scare him, rather he took it as an opportunity to learn a new way of life.
“I am thankful for the ability to adapt to anything; that is the kind of person I am, even with the challenges that come with it,” said Kankre. “I had to apply myself to learn a new language and customs to be able to live among my peers.
Kankre says it's important to never give up on where you want to be. It will take time and patience, but he also says to not forget the people you left as well as those around you.
“When Kankre receives a task, he performs it to the best of his ability,” said his platoon leader Staff Sgt. Austin Ashe, platoon leader, 2nd Bn., 23rd Inf. Reg., 1st SBCT, 4th Inf. Div. “His determination paid off because he was the only enlisted Soldier in our platoon to earn his EIB.”
January 24, 2024 - U.S. Army Spc. Kananda Kankre (right), an infantryman with 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, acts as the assistant gunner for a fellow soldier during a M249 range on Fort Carson, Colorado. (Image created by USA Patriotism! from U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Cecilia Ochoa.)
Kankre said he will continue to emerge himself in American and military culture and strives to achieve great things within the ranks, finding motivation from those who support him.
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