Foreign-born soldiers sworn in as citizens

After years of fighting for a country that was not even theirs, five soldiers took an oath to become United States citizens.

The special ceremony happened at the Palo Alto Battlefield National Historic Park in Brownsville.

U.S. Marines Lance Cpl. Daniel Villarreal Leon was all smiles.

"I feel really good, Cpl. Villarreal I have been waiting a long time for this,

U.S. Army Spc. Fatima Paredes agreed.

"I'm overwhelmed and very honored to be here with four other veterans, Paredes said. I was very happy."

U.S. Congressman Filemon Vela took a break from Washington DC to pay tribute to these five military members.

Vela said he couldn't be more grateful for what he calls a "selfless act."

"They put their lives at risk for this country even when they weren't citizens, Vela said. I can't think of no greater glory than what they have done and I can't imagine anyone more deserving of citizenship than these five individuals."

Four of the veterans are from Mexico while one is from Chile.

All of them came to the United States when they were young.

None of these five veterans joined to become a citizen but said they wanted to give back to the country they have called home for a long time.