Sikh Man Heads To Pentagon As A Soldier After Long Struggle To Join U.S. Forces

"I appreciate your patriotism, and I appreciate what you're doing," then-Defense Secretary Ashton Carter ...

In 2015, Kanwar Singh saw an opening. He would approach the secretary of defense at a public event in Cambridge and get him on the record about whether Sikhs ought to be allowed to serve in the military with turbans and beards.

Shaking with nerves, Singh approached the microphone in a camouflage turban.

"I want to understand," the young man from Waltham asked. "What can we do to ensure anyone who's passionate and patriotic can serve without them having to give up on their religious beliefs?"

The audience erupted in applause.