Iraqi man with US Army ties naturalizes to become American citizen

Iraqi man with US Army ties naturalizes to become American citizen
A naturalization ceremony was held on Friday morning in Cleveland at the federal courthouse. (Source: WOIO)
A naturalization ceremony was held on Friday morning in Cleveland at the federal courthouse. (Source: WOIO)

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - An Iraqi born man can now say he's an American citizen after helping the U.S. Army overseas.

Hayder Al Chebaina was naturalized on Friday morning in Cleveland at the federal courthouse, and says he is proud to be an American.

"I feel happy now. I'm an American. God Bless America," he said.

Hayder came to the U.S. after working security for the U.S. Army in Iraq. After seven years of assisting American servicemen, terrorists threatened his life. So his general got him a visa and brought him here.

"When I was working for the USA Army, the Isis was following me. I'm scared when I was going home," he said.

Four years ago, he met his wife, Megan, and they fell in love.

"I never expected him to go back to Iraq because of what happened and I've always been open to other people, so it just kind of worked out for us," she said.

Megan's grandmother is an active member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and supported Hayder through the naturalization process.

"This ceremony is beautiful. It is just beautiful and you know, everybody is so happy to be a citizen," said Sharon Snowden.

Hayder says he wants to start his own business and can't wait to enjoy American life.

"I'm an American now. I can't fall," he said.

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