An Army specialist from Iran who studied at California State University, Long Beach, is officially an American citizen.
Vahid Afsharzadeh moved to the U.S. nine years ago when he was 20 years old to pursue an electrical engineering degree and joined the Army after graduating, according to KABC.
“A career in the @USArmy offers opportunities for success, no matter your background,” the Army’s official recruitment Twitter account said in a May 5 post. “Crediting hard work and a supportive family, Iranian-born Army SPC Vahid Afsharzadeh achieved his dream of American citizenship. Next up: Army officer!”
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United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) also tweeted about Afsharzadeh’s recent citizenship.
“Vahid is a member of @USArmy. Thank you for your service Vahid and congratulations!” the agency tweeted in a May 3 announcement regarding the citizenship of 25 new Americans from 15 countries.
Afsharzadeh told KABC that when he became a permanent resident he wanted to “give back” what the country had given him.
“And as an immigrant, it’s a source of pride for me to wear the uniform,” he said, adding that “it’s a great feeling to be a part of this nation,” and he “worked so hard for it, to be here.”
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Afsharzadeh’s father has been “super supportive,” the Army specialist told KABC.
“He was really supportive, to come to this country, get an education, and also joining the military,” Afsharzadeh said.
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His next plans include continuing his military service after he earns his master’s and becoming an Army officer, according to the outlet. He also advised future immigrants coming to the U.S. to work hard to make their dreams come true.
“It might be tough at first being an immigrant and then get settled in. It’s going to take a while,” he said. “But keep dreaming, keep working hard and hopefully your dreams can come true.”