ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. -- He has already put his life on the line for our country and this morning he officially became a part of it.
Aaron Holland is originally from Manchester, England, but he has lived in the United States for about five years. He moved to the Jacksonville area as a teenager and joined the Marines.
"For the most part it's been the greatest time of my life serving," said Holland.
Holland deployed to Afghanistan in August 2011. As soon as he returned from his tour, he began the process of becoming a citizen.
"I definitely felt like I've earned my place," Holland explained. "[I] consider them my brothers, family-the Marine Corps-they all considered me one of theirs."
Because Holland served in an active combat zone, he was eligible for citizenship more quickly than most. Some were unsure of Holland's decision to put his life on the line for a country to which he did not officially belong.
"A few people have asked me if I'm crazy and why am I doing it," Holland shared. "It's not the point of that really. It's really about following your dreams. So, you know, if you're not following your dreams what are you doing?"
Holland and about 50 other people will participate in a naturalization ceremony at 9:00 a.m. at Cunningham Creek Elementary School in St. Johns County.
First Coast News