Almost 200 US soldiers serving in Iraq celebrated Tuesday's elections by being sworn in as US citizens.
But the 186 men and women, who hail from 60 different countries, won't get to vote this year. They became citizens for Tuesday's presidential election.
Dressed in fatigues and standing under a giant US flag, the troops took their citizenship oath at a ceremony in a domed marble hall at Saddam's old Al Faw Palace near the Baghdad airport.
General Ray Odierno, the top U.S. commander in Iraq said, "Diverse as your backgrounds may be, you all now have one thing in common: you are all Americans.”
Each of the soldiers shook hands with Odierno and US Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker, before receiving a citizenship certificate and a folded US flag.
The soldiers say they relish the chance to cast their ballot in the U.S., even if they missed out on Tuesday's election.
There are 30,000 foreign nationals currently serving in the Army. Since Sept. 11, 2001, the United States has granted US citizenship to 32,500 foreign soldiers.
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