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FORREST - Australia got its Joy back - even though she'll continue living in Forrest.

When Joy Shaddle became an American citizen in 1953, Australian law required she give up her Australian citizenship. She cried.

"I was just saying goodbye to everything else I'd ever known," said Shaddle, the mother of Bill, then 2, and Kathleen, then 4, and pregnant with a third child, Jim. If something happened to her husband, Lloyd, "I'd be stranded 12,000 miles from home."

So she did it for the security of her children.

Legislation effective July 1 permits Australians who lost citizenship and continue to live overseas to reclaim it. The change also applies to their children and grandchildren.

"I love America. I love it," exclaimed Shaddle, who is 88. "It's all about dual citizenship. I love each equally."

When a package with her Australian citizenship papers arrived on her porch earlier this month, she was ecstatic. "I was laughing and crying. I was bursting at the seams." Her daughter spent months on the paperwork involved.

Shaddle doesn't know if she is the first World War II bride to get dual citizenship under the new legislation. Due to privacy laws, the Embassy of Australia in Washington, D.C., cannot identify who has applied for or received Australian citizenship.

There is no way of anonymously identifying who is a war bride or a descendant of a war bride, said Megan Doughty, an embassy public affairs officer. Some war brides, however, found they could apply for citizenship under existing laws, she said.

Shaddle met her future husband, Lloyd Shaddle of Forrest, in Sydney in 1944 when a waitress mixed up their lunch orders. He was on leave from the medical corps; they had just 10 days of courtship. Two and a half years and 150 letters later, they married in the United States.

They raised three children in Forrest, where the late Lloyd Shaddle was a dentist.

Joy Shaddle was one of up to 15,000 Australian women who married or became engaged to U.S. servicemen. She was part of the largest single group of Australians to permanently leave the country. Shaddle and other war brides were honored in ceremonies in Washington, D.C., in April.

Family with Central Illinois ties include son Jim, of Bloomington, and granddaughter Devon, of Bloomington and Florida.


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