Up to 8,000 non-citizens enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces every year and serve alongside American troops. As of May 2010, there were 16,966 non-citizens on active duty. The military does not allow illegal immigrants to enlist.
If non-citizens die while serving, they are given citizenship and a military funeral. If they live and get in trouble with the law, as Coombs did, they can get caught in the net of a 1996 immigration law that greatly expanded the list of crimes for which non-citizens can be deported.
The first mistake is letting non citizens enlist in the military. Then, we compound the mistake by deporting them after they have served our country.
If they die while serving, they are given citizenship, but, if they live, they can be deported. To me, this is criminal. If they serve our country even if it is a mistake, they deserve citizenship.
In the Coombs case, he was court-martialed for possession of cocaine and marijuana with the intent to distribute, and was given 18 months of confinement and a dishonorable discharge.
This is not what I would consider completing your obligation to serve in the military. We could eliminate this problem by not allowing an non-citizen to serve in the military or, if they fulfill their obligation completely, give them citizenship.