U.S. Troops Become American Citizens … in Kandahar
Forty-four soldiers and Marines in Afghanistan are celebrating this Fourth of July as American citizens for the first time after their naturalization ceremony at Kandahar Air Field.
As the morning sun beat down on the desert base last Friday, hundreds gathered inside the air-conditioned assembly hall for the ceremony. American flags lined the walls, patriotic music played, and smiles were everywhere.
“It’s pretty exciting; we actually have 44 candidates from 24 different countries that are going to be naturalized today and become U.S. citizens,” said Capt. Benjamin Wendland, one of the ceremony’s organizers.
Wendland said there were lots of moving pieces to pull together for the naturalization ceremony, but one component was absolutely essential: the oath of citizenship.