My family has a friend of Brazilian heritage, a woman who has lived in the United States for years. We’ve watched her fortunes rise and fall, and she’s been with us through multiple births and a death.
When I saw her the other day, something was different. She greeted me with a big smile and said, “Loren, I’m the same as you now!”
She had passed her citizenship test, and I was as proud of her as I could be. It’s an emotional experience for anyone, as a Twitter thread by a former CIA operative reveals.
Under the Twitter handle @BlogGuero, former CIA Case Officer Marc C. Johnson posted a picture of a tie.
Styled like a classic, 1980’s power tie, the American-made tie bears alternating red and blue stripes, the latter stippled with tiny white stars in imitation of an American flag.
I’d like to tell a short story about America. It begins with me listing a necktie on Ebay. It was this tie. I used to wear it on the 4th of July, but I’ve been downsizing so I decided to sell it. pic.twitter.com/uvoWHAbmJE
— 🌷🐶 𝗠𝗮𝗿𝗰 𝗖. 𝗝𝗼𝗵𝗻𝘀𝗼𝗻 مارک (@BlogGuero) April 30, 2019
Beneath the picture, Johnson wrote, “I’d like to tell a short story about America. It begins with me listing a necktie on eBay.
“It was this tie. I used to wear it on the 4th of July, but I’ve been downsizing, so I decided to sell it.”
If you’ve ever sold anything online, you know that transactions don’t always unfold as planned. Though Johnson had only set a price in the single digits, he didn’t have any takers at first.
Finally, he got a bid, sold the tie, and the purchaser gave him his information. The man’s name was Jaques Campher, and he lived in Ohio.
Johnson began packaging up the tie, but then he noticed something: The tie had stains on it, and he hadn’t mentioned them as part of the listing.
“So I ‘fess up to the winning bidder and tell him I’ll give him a discount if he still wants the tie,” Johnson wrote. “He comes right back and asks if I think it will come out if he takes it to the dry cleaners.
“He said he really wanted it because he wanted to wear it TO HIS SWEARING IN CEREMONY TO BECOME AN AMERICAN CITIZEN.”
UPDATE: I told him he was Twitter famous, and he gave me permission to post this picture of him with his family after the ceremony! ❤️🇺🇸 /FIN/ pic.twitter.com/xY6oMj7Sss
— 🌷🐶 𝗠𝗮𝗿𝗰 𝗖. 𝗝𝗼𝗵𝗻𝘀𝗼𝗻 مارک (@BlogGuero) May 1, 2019
“I was like … I can’t charge him for this,” he told the Washington Post. He added on Twitter, “I thought about it for a second and just decided to send him the tie gratis and cancel the auction.”
Campher, a native of South Africa, found himself moved by the kind gesture, saying, “I cannot explain how I feel about that. It is a warm feeling.”
His American wife, Lindsay Krasinski, added, “He got weepy when he told me about it.”
Campher was so thankful that he snapped pictures of himself wearing the tie during and after his citizenship ceremony, and he sent them to Johnson.
“I wanted to show him I’m using the tie and it’s great,” he said, according to the Washington Post. He also wanted everyone to know how much he appreciated his new nation.
“The people are wonderful, the country is wonderful,” Campher said. “I want my daughter to grow up in this wonderful country.”
Liftable, a section of the Western Journal, has reached out to Marc Johnson for comment but has not yet received a response. We will update this article if and when we do.
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