KLTV Salesman becomes U.S. Citizen - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

KLTV Salesman becomes U.S. Citizen

Iurie Corjos Iurie Corjos
Iurie Corjos and Gregg County Judge Bill Stoudt Iurie Corjos and Gregg County Judge Bill Stoudt

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - We've done stories about naturalization ceremonies before, introducing you to people who happily realized their dream of becoming US citizens.

But this story is different.

Tuesday, many folks from KLTV 7 attended the naturalization ceremony at Tyler's Federal Courthouse to watch one of our fellow employees realize his dream.

Knowing him gave us a unique opportunity to help you understand why officially becoming part of their adopted country means so much.

Before today, we here at KLTV knew Iurie Corjos as the head of Internet Sales for our Longview newsroom-a nice guy from the former Soviet Union.

"I'm Iurie Corjos from Republic of Maldova, former Soviet Union," says Iurie.

At this ceremony this afternoon, he earned a new title. He's now a United States citizen.

"Growing up, my parents had an idea that one day we'd go to a place where they respected the individual, there's freedom for the individual."

And, there's the freedom to practice your religion-- legally and safely, something Iurie's Christian family wasn't always able to do when he was a child, in what is now known as Ukraine.

"My grandfather and great-grandfather were persecuted. For 10 years, they were in prison. My great-grandfather died in prison, in gulag, they called them gulag."

So, today, 10 years after he entered the U.S. on a student visa to attend college in Oklahoma, Iurie is here in East Texas with his wife and son, fulfilling the dreams his family's dreamed for generations.

It's a dream come true that motivated Gregg County Judge Bill Stout to present Iurie with an American flag that once flew over the county courthouse.

"His story was so special to me, as an American, because so many Americans take for granted to be free in this country, said Bill Stout.

For Iurie that means the chance to be free, here in America, the chance to make his family in Russia proud.

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