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Military Members Become U.S. Citizens

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Members of the U.S. military take their oath of citizenship during a ceremony in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Matt Bush
Members of the U.S. military take their oath of citizenship during a ceremony in Silver Spring, Maryland.

By Matt Bush

Several active members of the U.S. Military became American citizens in Silver Spring, Maryland. Nilay Yurt is a private in the Army stationed at Fort Detrick In Frederick, Maryland. She came to the U.S. two years ago from Turkey after marrying an American citizen. Needing to pay for college, she joined the Army.

"I'm kind of a tough person," she says. "So, soldiering is not for everybody. We really do a hard job."

She likes the Army enough to want to make it her career, which she says makes her first Memorial Day as a U.S. citizen all the more special.

"It's going to be meaningful," she says. "I'm part of the United States, though I already was because I'm a U.S. soldier."

It's also going to be a special Memorial Day for airman Someye Femi. He's stationed at Joint Base Andrews, formerly known as Andrews Air Force base, after coming to the U.S. from Nigeria in 2002. Back home, he was a journalist.

"Before I came here, I was covering the United States Information Service in Nigeria, and I always would have loved to be an American citizen," he says. "When I came here, I was accommodated. I was treated very fairly."

Close to 60,000 members of the military have become citizens since the 9-11 attacks in 2001.

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