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Hanscom family achieves American dream

2nd. Lt. Judith Johnson, 66th Comptroller Squadron Financial Management Flight commander, surprises Airman 1st Class Aws Hussein, 66 CPTS financial management technician, after receiving his official American citizenship in Northampton, Mass., July 2. Originally from Baghdad, Hussein served alongside U.S. troops as a translator before moving to America with his family in 2013. (Courtesy Photo)

2nd. Lt. Judith Johnson, 66th Comptroller Squadron Financial Management Flight commander, surprises Airman 1st Class Aws Hussein, 66 CPTS financial management technician, after receiving his official American citizenship in Northampton, Mass., July 2. Originally from Baghdad, Hussein served alongside U.S. troops as a translator before moving to America with his family in 2013. (Courtesy Photo)

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – An Air Force Materiel Command Airman achieved his dream of becoming an American citizen after passing the naturalization test July 2 in Northampton, Mass.

Airman 1st Class Aws Hussein, 66th Comptroller Squadron financial management technician, received his official citizenship after completing the final exam of U.S. government and history topics.

“This is another step that we’ve successfully passed, and now we can move onto the next chapter of our lives,” said Hussein, who is a financial management technician.

Originally from Baghdad, Hussein served alongside U.S. troops as an Iraqi translator from 2009 to 2011. In 2013, he moved with his wife and two children to the U.S, where they joined his brothers in San Antonio, Texas.

It was there that his family received their citizenship, and Hussein decided to enlist. Hussein required additional paperwork that slowed his process, putting his application behind those for his wife and children, but he said they supported him the entire way.

“My wife was nervous leading up to her test, and we were so happy when she passed on her first try,” he said. “She was always laughing and reminding me that it was another thing she beat me to, but that it would be alright.”

Hussein described his ceremony as brief; he recited the oath of allegiance and saluted the flag before being congratulated by the overseeing judge, who encouraged the new citizens to exercise their civic duties.

“He told us to vote,” he said.

With physical distancing restrictions still in place, Hussein said he wasn’t expecting any kind of celebration. However, his wingmen from the 66 CPTS knew that such an occasion required some recognition.

“I’ll never forget driving up to my house and seeing the decorations and congratulations sign across my garage door,” said Hussein. “I was so shocked, but then I saw my coworkers and my neighbors come around the corner with a red, white and blue cake. I just wanted to jump, I was so happy.”

With his certificate in hand, Hussein said he and his family are looking to their future of living out their American dream.

“This day is a memory that I’ll cherish forever,” he said.