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Soldiers become US citizens during Independence Day ceremony in Afghanistan Courtesy Photo

U.S. Army Pfc. Zeiko Ifill of Brooklyn, N.Y., an automated logistics specialist with Company E, Task Force Tigershark, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, TF Falcon, shakes hands with U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry at the conclusion of a naturalization ceremony at Camp Pheonix, Afghanistan, July 4. The Barbados native became a U.S. citizen during the ceremony, along with 47 other service members. (Photo by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Todd Pouliot, Task Force Falcon Public Affairs)

KABUL, Afghanistan - On a day marking the 235th birthday of the United States, five soldiers from the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, Task Force Falcon, took the Oath of Naturalization, becoming some of the nation’s newest citizens during a ceremony July 4.

“You are representative of the values and diversity that make our country stronger,” said U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry as he addressed 48 service members from 25 countries. “The great patriots who founded our nation have a lot in common with you. Like them, you’ve fought to keep America safe, and you’ve served with distinction.”

The TF Falcon soldiers who became U.S. citizens during the Independence Day naturalization ceremony included:

U.S. Army Pfc. Felipe Andrade, a pathfinder with Company F, TF Knighthawk, 10th CAB, originally from Brazil and calls Monroe, N.Y., home.

U.S. Army Pfc. Robert Holm, an automated logistics specialist with Company E, TF Tigershark, 10th CAB, originally from Jamaica and calls Jamaica, N.Y., home.

U.S. Army Pfc. Zeiko Ifill, an automated logistics specialist with Company E, TF Tigershark, 10th CAB, originally from Barbados and calls Brooklyn, N.Y., home.

U.S. Army Spc. Tod Lanki, a human resources specialist with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, TF Knighthawk, 10th CAB, originally from the Marshall Islands and calls Honolulu home.

U.S. Army Jeridine Stewart, a communications specialist with Headquarters Support Company, TF Mountain Eagle, 10th CAB, originally from Palau and calls Michigan home.


Andrade said he lived in the U.S. for 12 years, and although over that time he has come to feel like an American, he now can truly call himself one.

“There’s no greater feeling than to be called an American,” he said with a smile.

For Stewart, who has served in the U.S. Army for seven years, the Fourth of July reminds her the U.S. is a nation of immigrants who’ve come from all over the world.

“I believe the U.S. is a melting pot of people of all races, all of who share the same freedoms,” she said. “Now, I get to be a part of it.”

Eikenberry, who will leave Afghanistan this summer, told the new citizens he is proud to call them American patriots.

“I want to thank each of you personally,” Eikenberry said. “You are the real U.S. ambassadors here in Afghanistan.”


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U.S. Army Pfc. Zeiko Ifill of Brooklyn, N.Y., an...
ImagesSoldiers become US...
U.S. Army Spc. Tod Lanki of Honolulu, a human resources...
ImagesSoldiers become US...
U.S. Army Pfc. Felipe Andrade of Monroe, N.Y., far...


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This work, Soldiers become US citizens during Independence Day ceremony in Afghanistan, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:07.04.2011

Date Posted:07.04.2011 18:33

Location:KABUL, AFGlobe

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