Army specialist from Iran who came to study at Cal State Long Beach becomes US citizen

Vahid Afsharzadeh came to Southern California from Iran nine years ago to attend Cal State Long Beach. After graduating, he joined the Army and he recently celebrated becoming a U.S. citizen.

Video Transcript

- ABC 7 salutes a US army reservist who became a US citizen today.

- He came to Southern California from Iran nine years ago to go to college. Eyewitness News reporter Alex Cheney has his story.

- This is army specialist Vahid Afsharzadeh. He was born in Iran but on Monday, he became an American citizen.

- Congratulations you are now a United States citizen.

- Vahid he came to America at age 20 to pursue his electric engineering degree at Cal State Long Beach. After graduating, he made the choice to join the military to serve his new country.

VAHID AFSHARZADEH: Many become a permanent resident. I wanted to give back but I've been given to the country. And as an immigrant, it's like a source of pride for me to wear the uniform.

- Vahid he says it feels great to be an American citizen.

VAHID AFSHARZADEH: It's a great feeling to be part of this nation, a great nation in the war. And I'm so proud, so proud. I work so hard for it to be here where I am today.

- Vahid says becoming an American citizen is a huge source of pride for him and his family.

VAHID AFSHARZADEH: Really supportive. And like to come to this country education and also joining the military. Super supportive.

- Vahid plans on continuing his service with the military. And upon graduating from his master's program, wants to become an officer in the army. He says for anyone immigrating to the United States to work hard and your dream can come true too.

VAHID AFSHARZADEH: It might be tough at first being an immigrant, and then you just get settled in, like it's going to take a while. But keep dreaming, and keep working, and working hard. And hopefully, like the dream was to come one day.