More than 14,000 military men and women have pending applications for U.S. citizenship. But Friday, that number got smaller.
Service men and women from 26 countries around the globe are now citizens of United States. Former President George Bush joined in a ceremony at his library to welcome a handful of soldiers into American citizenship.
Most are just back from service in Iraq.
"You go through this roller coaster of just emotions sometimes. You're in the get-go and you can't stop and think about family you know. And sometimes you do and that's when it grounds you. You just got to hold it sometimes somewhere up high," said Mexican soldier Carlos Camacho.
The road to citizenship has been rough for some, but all live as patriots.
"You not only understand the great blessings that go with American citizenship, but you also appreciate the responsibilities. You recognize the freedom and unlimited opportunities you have here. But you also understand that democracy is a participation sport," said Bush.
U.S. District Court Judge Lee Rosenthal administered the Oath of Allegiance and after a few words from the President via video, the group was granted citizenship.
"It's by you're actions that you've already proved by your worth and carried this solemn honor that's know bestowed upon you," said Bush.
"I'm just feeling great to be able to be, to be 100% part of the family because the U.S. has given me so much and the Air Force has given me everything I ever wanted," said Brazilian soldier Frenanda Hord.
There are 37,000 immigrants serving on active duty with U.S. Armed Forces. Friday's ceremony was a landmark in each soldiers journey to pursuing the american dream.
Upload your photo, with a caption of your reason to smile, then watch the last half hour of BVTM from 6:30A - 7A Monday mornings to see if your photo makes it.