State Dept. relents, gives reservist's parent visas for wedding

Great news for an Army reservist and veteran of the war in Afghanistan. The State Department has relented, so his mom and dad will get to come to his wedding next week after all. He says Bruce Leshan and WUSA9 helped it happen.

WHEATON, MD (WUSA9) - There was great news Thursday night for an Army reservist and veteran of the war in Afghanistan. The State Department has relented. His mom and dad will get to come to his wedding next week after all.

And he says WUSA9 helped it happen.

Maisonobe Fokwa was on the phone to his mom in Italy when we got to his apartment in Wheaton. You could hear her relief over the scratchy line.

“I'm very happy, because I'm coming to see my son," she said. 

RELATED: Army Reservist to State Dept.: Please let mom & dad come to my wedding!

Fokwa is getting married in Florida next week, but the State Department had twice denied his parents permission to enter the country, apparently worried that they might overstay their visas.

Fokwa's a U.S. citizen originally from Cameroon, an Army reservist who spent a year serving in Afghanistan, and several more years working for the Department of Homeland Security.

When WUSA9 talked to him last month, he said we were his last best hope.

“I’m heartbroken. I have to tell you, I had to ask myself if this was the country that I had served," he said. 

He thinks the news story helped changed minds.That and the intervention of a half dozen politicians and a petition on the White House website.

When he heard the news, “I just broke into tears and called my fiancé and said we are set.”

This week, after a third interview, the American Consulate in Florence, Italy, finally agreed to give his parents visas for the wedding, which is just a week from Saturday.

“I felt my American dream was kind of dying. But today, I'm convinced my American dream is not over. I'm still dreaming, still living it, and will continue,” said Fokwa.

Faith renewed.

Fokwa was so happy, he invited WUSA9's Bruce Leshan to the wedding. He's not sure he can make it, but Fokwa promised to get him pictures anyway.

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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