FORT HOOD, Texas — Central Texans are connected to Fort Hood in many ways ... each with a unique story to tell.
Meet Andres Casado a 36-year-old Private First Class serving at Fort Hood, but he is not yet a U.S. citizen.
In fact, he grew up on the southern tip of South America, in Argentina.
”You have rivers and mountains. Soccer is a big thing which is sports. You play sports all your life. Yeah, it’s a good place,” said PFC Casado.
Andres eventually made his way to Florida where he met his wife Melissa and after three years in the United States, he chose to enlist in the Army.
”We talked long and hard and I knew this was something he really wanted to do and he’s very passionate about it,” said his wife Melissa Casado.
”Honestly, I’m blessed,” said Andres. “I have a smart beautiful wife, great kids, and I feel that I need to give something back.”
A dedication that his wife said shines in him, both as a soldier and a father.
”He’s the best,” said Melissa. “He’s so involved, he’s right there with me doing everything. He's up in the middle of the night when I'm there feeding the baby. So, he’s there to help and change diapers and do whatever he can to help.”
It's his drive to help that she said makes him a great soldier.
”He truly just has that in his heart, to be the best he can be. To see how far he can go, he pushes himself,” said Melissa.
Now his long road to U.S. citizenship that began before he enlisted in the Army is finally about to end.
A moment the whole family has waited years for.
”I think it’s a privilege,” said Andres. “It's something that I want to show my kids, that if you actually want to do something in life, you can do it. You just need to set the goals and go for it.”
That's why he proudly wears a U.S. Army uniform, citizenship or not.
”It’s great, it’s a great new experience,” said Andres. “I definitely feel that if you want to, you should.”
Private First Class Andres Casado husband, a father, and one of many soldiers who immigrated to the U.S. and now risk their lives to defend it.
Now he is one of the many faces of Fort Hood.