NEWS | July 7, 2010

Soldier's citizenship dreams come true

By 1st Lt. Jennifer Richard Joint Task Force-Bravo Public Affairs

A Soldier from Joint Task Force-Bravo became a naturalized U.S. citizen July 2 in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, during an Independence Day celebration hosted by the U.S. ambassador to Honduras.

Spc. Eniol Abreusarmiento, a helicopter mechanic and crew chief in the 1-228th Aviation Regiment, took the naturalization oath after serving in the Army for five years.

"I'm really happy that I finally get to salute the American flag as a U.S. citizen," Specialist Abreusarmiento said.

As the only person being naturalized that day, the Soldier enjoyed an individual naturalization ceremony presided over by U.S. Ambassador Hugo Llorens and attended by Honduran President Porfirio Lobo. The oath was administered by Emigdio Martinez, the field office director for the Office of Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Taking the oath was the culmination of a long process for Specialist Abreusarmiento. He moved with his family from Cuba to Miami, Fla., in 1994. In 2010, he requested to be naturalized while stationed in Honduras and, six months later, his dream became a reality.

"I've lived in the States longer than I was in Cuba," Specialist Abreusarmiento said. "It's all I know. I consider myself an American. Getting naturalized is the icing on the cake."

The Soldier was one of many U.S. servicemembers to become naturalized citizens over the 4th of July weekend in ceremonies around the world. Non-citizens who have performed active military service since Sept.11, 2001, can apply for expedited citizenship, and approximately 6,000 servicemembers are naturalized each year.