A group of new Americans, military, retirees and civilian dependents was recognized at Fort Carson on Thursday. Smile after smile were lighting up the auditorium on post as their names were read off during the ceremony. More than 130 took the test to become citizens in 2013 at Fort Carson.
Geoffrey Alanya is from Kenya. He joined the U.S. Army in 2012. Geoffrey told me that he knew he wanted to join the military, become an American citizen and fight terrorism. His passion against terrorism was fueled when his best friend's Mother died after an explosion in Nairobi in 1998, "It's not just an American issue. It's a global issue. That's why I am here."
Carlos Lauchu is also a new American. He is from Panama. He joined the army in 2012. He told me he started his journey growing up in Panama and seeing American soldiers. He knew he wanted to become a soldier and fight for America, "I wanted to make a difference and do something."
Andres Chong is from Ecuador. He joined the Air Force in 2012. He said his journey to become an American citizen began in 1999. He and his family arrived in America and knew this was to be his new home, forever, "It is just natural because it's a honor to have it. It's not a lottery, it's hard work."
The men and women on the stage have similar feelings about their new country and why it's important for them to take that next step and become a United States citizen.