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NEWS | Dec. 22, 2021

Military & Family Readiness Center helps DOD members become U.S. citizens

By Jason Wilkinson 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Spirits were high and relief was palpable as twelve participants earned their United States citizenship Dec. 15, 2021, through the naturalization program conducted by the U.S. Citizenship and Naturalization Services at the Military and Family Readiness Center at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston.

The group had clearly bonded while going through the course, with the participants posing in multiple photographs with their certificates. There were also some family members and friends present to celebrate the moment.

“Right now, I’m a little bit overwhelmed,” said Jung Tai, a U.S. Navy Seaman and one of the members who earned her citizenship. “I think tomorrow I’m going to really feel it.”

Tai found the process easy to navigate and appreciated the support she received from the USCNS.

“It’s a must,” Tai said. “They help us so much, and it’s a great opportunity.”

Tai is from Taiwan and grew up with an appreciation for the United States. She explained that her grandparents escaped China.

“We know the value of freedom,” Tai added.

Her husband is also a veteran of the United States Air Force. She explained that serving the United States was something important to her.

The importance of family was a common theme amongst many of those seeking citizenship.

“This is something very important when it comes to bringing my family, especially my kids,” said U.S. Army Spc. Smart Adare.

Adare, who is from Ghana, explained that he has not seen his kids in three years. Earning his citizenship means he can bring his family over.

Family was not the only motivator for Adare; he also has a college degree and intends to commission as a finance officer, which requires citizenship.

 “If you have what it takes to be a citizen, you should, because this is the greatest country in the world,” Adare said.

Ivan Leitao, a U.S. Navy Seaman, said the hardest part for him was studying for the short test applicants must pass to earn their citizenship. He was also impressed with how the program prepared him, however, and considered the process easily worth it.

“I think if you’re serving the country, why not join them, and become a citizen yourself,” Leitao added.

Leitao also wishes to bring his parents over to visit the United States, who are excited to visit the United States for the first time. 

For those interested in the naturalization process, they can contact the Joint Base San Antonio- Fort Sam Houston Military and Family Readiness Center at 210-221-2705 for more information.