The ceremony took place at Al Faw Palace in Baghdad and included soldiers who were born in many different places around the globe, including troops from American Samoa and one from Vietnam.
“For over 200 years, our presidents’ words and deeds have inspired Americans to uphold the ideals of freedom and equality enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution,” the director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Field Office in Rome, Robert Daum, told the soldiers during the February 21 ceremony. “Your presence here in Iraq is an inspiration and testimony to our nation’s history, and your contributions will help shape our country for future generations.”
In October 2004, a change to the law allowed US servicemen and women to receive their US citizenship while overseas and since then 3,426 people in the military deployed in Iraq have become American citizens.
US Army General Lloyd J. Austin III, the commander of US forces in Iraq, congratulated the newest Americans, saying that there was “not a more deserving group of people” to get their US citizenship.