Love story at citizenship ceremony in Tyler - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Love story at citizenship ceremony in Tyler


America and East Texas in particular has nearly 50 new citizens after today’s naturalization ceremony.

It happened this morning at 11 a.m. at the federal courthouse in Tyler, but for one woman this was not only a symbol of citizenship, but of love too. More than 100 people entered Judge Judith Guthrie’s courtroom today. Family and friends came to support a moment years in the making.

“A long time coming, and it’s a wonderful day, it’s a great feeling,” said Lloyd Pinnick.

Pinnick's wife just gained American citizenship. For Lloyd and Lena Pinnick, today isn’t just a journey of citizenship but a part of their love story. The couple met in 2007, while Lloyd was in Iran serving in the United States Army.

“Asked her to marry me over there and then I, of course, we got engaged,” said Lloyd.

Today, as Lena received her citizenship her family looked on because they are here too. Lloyd spent four-months in Iran meeting Lena’s parents and finally proposing. That’s when Lena moved to America in 2009 and brought her mother, father, sister, and aunt along with her.

“Sure, it’s always good to have family, and be safe here, away from dangers,” said Lena.

Her parents hope to go through this same ceremony within the next few years.

“I’m glad to be American,” said Lena.

But her husband is glad Lena was in Iran when he was.

"I'm glad she was, she was good for me,” recalled Lloyd.

All in attendance were encouraged by Judge Guthrie to vote. Today was also Guthrie’s last day in the courtroom, as she is retiring after 26-years.

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