UPDATED: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 - 8:31pm
Fort Hood, TX — Signing up for the military to defend your country is truly a great honor. But what if you are defending this country and aren’t even a citizen? That’s been the situation for ten Fort Hood soldiers, but not anymore.
Patriotism and fighting for your country can be a great thing.
Today at Fort Hood ten soldiers who fought overseas were granted citizenship.
Ayrton Villacorte and his Philippine family immigrated to America when he was seven years old. Today his 13 year journey to citizenship ended.
“I’m just speechless. I have no words for it,” said Villacorte.
Legal immigrants may serve in the military with proper credentials.
Even though Fernando Lara grew up in Laredo like his brother and sister who are both American citizens, the simple fact he was born while his mother was visiting family in Mexico means he has lived his entire life as an immigrant. Today that changed.
“That’s something I’ve always wanted to do is get my citizenship. And I finally did it after so many years. I always felt like I was part of this country. That’s why I joined the military,” said Lara.
Greg Richardson helped in the ceremony.
Richardson said, “I can’t describe to you the overwhelming feeling it is to see somebody fill a dream to become an American citizen. All the rights and privileges that come with that. The personal stories of struggles and their commitment and dedication to this country- It’s overwhelming.”