Nigerian Immigrant, U.S. Army Soldier Celebrates Receiving U.S. Citizenship with the USO

Immigrant to the U.S. from Nigeria. Certified pilot. U.S. Army Soldier. These are just a few of the many titles that help identify Spc. Beauty Osemwegie, who recently received her U.S. citizenship during a naturalization ceremony held at the U.S. District Court Richmond, Virginia, July 19, 2023.

Beauty, who was born in Benin City, Nigeria, followed her passion for flying, and at the age of 28, moved to Florida in 2018 to attend flight school and become a pilot.

Along the way, Beauty felt another calling – a calling to serve – where she recently enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserves in November of 2022, and now serves as a Unit Supply Specialist with the 926th Engineer Battalion, based out of Birmingham, Ala.

When the opportunity was presented to her, Beauty jumped on the chance to call herself a U.S. citizen. “I have always loved to serve, I am the first generation to serve in my family, I am creating a legacy for my family and future children and to inspire them to serve this great nation,” said Beauty.

With the ceremony held in Richmond, Virginia, and with all her immediate family still living in Nigeria, Beauty had no one there to take pictures or celebrate her achievement in becoming a U.S. citizen.

However, on her flight back to Florida, Beauty made her first-ever visit to a USO center, located in the Richmond International Airport, where she was immediately welcomed with open arms and treated like a member of the family by USO staff and volunteers.

“The staff at the USO were so welcoming, friendly and homely, they ensured all the visitors who came in were comfortable and relaxed … plus the comfortable chairs, Wi-Fi and snacks were nice. I loved it there,” said Beauty.

When Tricia Riggs, the Senior Center Operations Supervisor at the Richmond International Airport USO center learned that Beauty had no one there to support her or take pictures of her receiving her U.S. citizenship, Riggs sprang into action and celebrated this achievement with her.

“Claudia, a USO volunteer, and I truly felt honored to be able to add to the excitement of her day and to share in her joy and excitement, said Riggs. “I also presented her my USO coin so that she could have another positive memory of her visit on such a truly life changing event in her life.”

With over 250 USO centers across the globe, the USO provides a home away from home, offering a warm, welcoming lounge; internet connectivity for guests; drinks and snacks; and various forms of entertainment such as board games, video games, TV, books, etc., for service members and their families to enjoy.

“This experience is a gentle reminder that no matter where our service members may be in their military journey, or where they are stationed, the USO will always be there for them,” said Triggs.

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