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Afghan translator for U.S. Special Forces becomes U.S. citizen​

Zia "Booyah" Ghafoori took the pledge Thursday in Charlotte.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The pledge to become an American Citizen took only a few moments, but getting to this moment was years in the making for Zia "Booyah" Ghafoori. 

"I'm speechless."

Standing with 90 other people from 45 other nations Ghafoori and others stood together to become Americans inside the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Charlotte Field Office Thursday.

 "I was on the front-line."

Ghafoori's family fled Afghanistan after the Taliban came to power. Shortly after 9-11 he came back to interpret for the American Special Forces going to "the front lines." Awarded a Purple Heart for his service, Ghafoori applied for Special Immigrant Visa bringing him and his family to Charlotte. 

"We help all those guys that they left behind." 

Ghafoori started a non-profit, Interpreting Freedom Foundation, to help brave men and women like him who are still serving with U.S. Forces. "They deserve to be here. They're still struggling with their life and they're hiding from the Taliban, and Isis."

Now, fully American, Ghafoori takes a moment to reflect on his journey here. 

"My dream from there, and that dream became true today. I am proud to be an American."

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