KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - A gentle smile slowly rolled across his face as his fingers crept quietly across his name written in bold letters. Spc. Hamed Sikandary is finally a U.S. citizen.

Hamed Sikandary is an Army Reserve Soldier and is currently deployed to his native country of Afghanistan. He came to the U.S. in 2008 seeking a better life, better opportunities and safety, all the things he wasn't afforded in his native country.

"It's always been my dream to be called an American," said Sikandary.

Several months after immigrating to the U.S., Sikandary decided to join the Army Reserve. He saw an opportunity to help both the U.S., and Afghanistan.

"I knew that I could help people," said Sikandary. "I was raised in Afghanistan, so I know the culture and now I'm in the Army. I'm like a bridge between the two."

Sikandary crossed that metaphorical bridge and became a U.S. citizen, Oct. 1, during a naturalization ceremony at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan. He took the Oath of Allegiance, along with 87 other servicemembers, and became an American.

He renounced allegiance to all other countries and now holds citizenship in just one country, the Unites States of America.

His dream came true.

"I've been waiting for this day for a long time now," said Sikandary. "Today was a very big day in my life. I not only have opportunities for myself, but I can also start to get my family to safety."

Now Sikandary has all the rights, freedoms and liberties he has been fighting to protect.

"It's made such a huge difference in my life," said Sikandary. "I can defiantly say that I feel different today than I did yesterday. I am American and I'm proud to say that."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16