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Colorado congressman helps arrange naturalization ceremony for guardsman

Specialist Jun Cho missed his ceremony when he was deployed to Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON — When Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) went for a midday coffee run this week, he returned to the office with a new mission: figure out how to set up a naturalization ceremony for a National Guardsman.

When Perlmutter got to the Dunkin Donuts near his office, he spotted some National Guard members inside. He said he offered to buy their coffee and ended up striking up a conversation.

“They said they had a young man who was supposed to go through his citizenship ceremony that day but he’d been deployed to the Capitol and couldn’t get it done and could I do something,” Perlmutter said.

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The troops were from the Delaware National Guard. The soldier they were talking about was Specialist Jun Cho.

“Here is a young man who is serving the country in a really unprecedented and difficult moment in American history and he was putting something on hold that he’d, I’m sure, been planning for for years,” Perlmutter said.

Perlmutter said he went back to his office and called his friend Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), who chairs a subcommittee on immigration and Delaware Gov. John Carney (D), who is also a friend.

By Friday, the three had arranged a private naturalization ceremony for Specialist Cho.

“I watched it on Facebook Live and it gave me goosebumps,” Perlmutter said. “Part of the oath says to protect and defend the constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic, precisely what he is doing.”

Perlmutter said he called Cho after the ceremony. He said Cho was celebrating with some of his colleagues, getting a burger and a milkshake at Five Guys.

“I think it was a wonderful accomplishment and story in the midst of a lot of much tougher kinds of news,” Perlmutter said.

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