Dozens of North Carolina-based military members now are citizens of the nation they swore to defend.
More than 30 Marines and five sailors from Camp Lejeune took the citizenship oath Wednesday with 20 soldiers and four airmen from Fort Bragg.
Marine Corporal Teddy Cardenas says citizenship had been a dream since he moved with his family more than six years ago to New Jersey from Ecuador. Cardenas said he joined the Marines in 2004 to get an education in computer engineering.
A spokesman for the U-S Citizenship and Immigration Service says more than 35-thousand military personnel aren't citizens.