Military service members and friends gathered at Fort Hood Tuesday to honor 10 newly-naturalized citizens.
They took an oath to defend a country they couldn't formally call their own, until now.
The director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services led the group of soldiers in the Oath of Allegiance. By raising their right hand, all 10 members gained the rights guaranteed to U.S. citizens.
Most of the soldiers came to the United States at a young age. For them, they've always considered themselves to be American.
"It does mean a lot, just saying that oath and stating that although I've worn this uniform for so long now I can actually say that I'm a citizen," Spc. Fernando Lara said.
Soldiers like Specialist Lara believe this ceremony is a well deserved reward. The 10 new citizens will return to duty with their respective units based at Fort Hood.