Citizenship ceremony held Friday for military families

TIJERAS, N.M. (KRQE) – A special ceremony was held Friday for some of the country’s newest citizens.

Four members of military families took their citizenship oath Friday morning at the Museum of the American Military Family in Tijeras.

Among them was Perla Stegall who was brought to the U.S. when she was just 10 years old from Mexico.

Her husband is stationed at Cannon Air Force Base.

She says she’s excited to officially belong to the country of her husband and kids.

“I finally accomplished something that is going to be the greatest thing, one of the greatest things in my life,” Perla Stegall said.

“It’s amazing to get all the rights of an American citizen but it’s also important to understand the responsibilities of being a citizen,” Danveer Shakeel explained.

Shakeel is from India and also earned his citizenship Friday morning. He is a mechanical engineer who came to the U.S. on a student visa and eventually earned his Ph.D at the University of New Mexico.

He says being in a same-sex marriage complicated his immigration process for years but says he’s glad changes in federal law finally made his citizenship a possibility.

The Military Family Museum is one of a kind in the nation.

They say they enjoy hosting citizenship ceremonies of military families as a way to honor the important role they play as well.

The other new citizens are from Colombia and South Korea. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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