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Spc. Ibrahim Kargbo, stationed at Camp Casey, South Korea, looks at his citizenship certificate during a naturalization ceremony Friday at Yongsan Garrison, South Korea. Fifty-five servicemembers and 17 spouses became U.S. citizens during the ceremony at Yongsan.
Spc. Ibrahim Kargbo, stationed at Camp Casey, South Korea, looks at his citizenship certificate during a naturalization ceremony Friday at Yongsan Garrison, South Korea. Fifty-five servicemembers and 17 spouses became U.S. citizens during the ceremony at Yongsan. (Alfredo Jimenez/Stars and Stripe)
Spc. Ibrahim Kargbo, stationed at Camp Casey, South Korea, looks at his citizenship certificate during a naturalization ceremony Friday at Yongsan Garrison, South Korea. Fifty-five servicemembers and 17 spouses became U.S. citizens during the ceremony at Yongsan.
Spc. Ibrahim Kargbo, stationed at Camp Casey, South Korea, looks at his citizenship certificate during a naturalization ceremony Friday at Yongsan Garrison, South Korea. Fifty-five servicemembers and 17 spouses became U.S. citizens during the ceremony at Yongsan. (Alfredo Jimenez/Stars and Stripe)
Kathleen Stephens, U.S. ambassador to South Korea, second from left in foreground,  stands with servicemembers and spouses Friday, during a naturalization ceremony at Yongsan Garrison, South Korea. Fifty-five servicemembers and 17 spouses became U.S. citizens during the ceremony at Yongsan.
Kathleen Stephens, U.S. ambassador to South Korea, second from left in foreground, stands with servicemembers and spouses Friday, during a naturalization ceremony at Yongsan Garrison, South Korea. Fifty-five servicemembers and 17 spouses became U.S. citizens during the ceremony at Yongsan. (Alfredo Jimenez/Stars and Stripe)

YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — Fifty-five servicemembers and 17 spouses became U.S. citizens during a naturalization ceremony Friday at Yongsan.

Keynote speaker Kathleen Stephens, U.S. ambassador to South Korea, cited many stories about the day’s citizenship candidates, including that of Pfc. Roberto C. Abeledo, who was a student in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001.

“That day became not only part of our national history, but also part of his personal history and part of the reason he joined the U.S. Army,” Stephens said.

Spc. Ibrahim Kargbo, stationed at Camp Casey, left Sierra Leone in 2001, eventually arriving in America in 2002.

“This is an opportunity of a lifetime for me,” said Kargbo, who joined the Army in 2008. “The first thing I’m doing after this is calling home and telling my family.”

“You are from different countries and different backgrounds,” Stephens said, “but are united by your act of service that has enabled you to become a U.S. citizen.”

jimeneza@pstripes.osd.mil

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