18 men and women become U.S. citizens at Cowpens National Battle - FOX Carolina 21

18 men and women become U.S. citizens at Cowpens National Battlefield

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Naturalization ceremony for 18 new U.S. citizens (FOX Carolina: 11/9/17). Naturalization ceremony for 18 new U.S. citizens (FOX Carolina: 11/9/17).
Naturalization ceremony for 18 new U.S. citizens (FOX Carolina: 11/9/17). Naturalization ceremony for 18 new U.S. citizens (FOX Carolina: 11/9/17).
Naturalization ceremony for 18 new U.S. citizens (FOX Carolina: 11/9/17). Naturalization ceremony for 18 new U.S. citizens (FOX Carolina: 11/9/17).
Naturalization ceremony for 18 new U.S. citizens (FOX Carolina: 11/9/17). Naturalization ceremony for 18 new U.S. citizens (FOX Carolina: 11/9/17).
Naturalization ceremony for 18 new U.S. citizens (FOX Carolina: 11/9/17). Naturalization ceremony for 18 new U.S. citizens (FOX Carolina: 11/9/17).
GAFFNEY, SC (FOX Carolina) -

18 men and women from 13 different countries took their oath to the United States Thursday morning at the historic Revolutionary War site, Cowpens National Battlefield. 

"Over 236 years ago, other immigrants came to this continent, left their families and their homes to fight for the freedoms and to establish the nation that we all celebrate here today," said John Slaughter, National Park Service Superintendent.

For new citizen, David Gutierrez, the naturalization ceremony was one he'll never forget.

"You can really feel in your heart that you are becoming something special in this country. So they actually recognize and you know you feel free in here, full of opportunities," said Gutierrez.

Gutierrez immigrated from Colombia in 2001. At 29 today, he said taking the oath of allegiance to the United States is something he's waited a long time to do.

"I owe pretty much my whole adult life to this country and now that I'm an American citizen I wouldn't change myself for no one else," said Gutierrez.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services held naturalization ceremonies all over the nation this week ahead of Veterans Day. 

"When we're administering the oath of allegiance, you look out at those faces and to me it's that American dream coming true," said Jaclyn Williams,USCIS Greer Field Office Director.

The dream came true for many at Cowpens Battlefield Thursday morning, including Gutierrez, who for the first time put his hand on his heart and recited the Pledge of Allegiance as an American.

"I never thought I was going to feel that knot right here and you know, the little something in there but it's amazing experience," said Gutierrez.

Gutierrez celebrated the big milestone with his girlfriend, in-laws, and aunt in the audience. He said he also owes a big thank you to his mother and coworkers who helped him through the process.

Williams said to apply to become a citizen you generally have to have been a lawful, permanent resident for at least five years or a minimum of three if you married a U.S. citizen.

Then, Williams said it could take several months after that for the application process to be complete.

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