91-year-old becomes U.S. citizen after 60 years - WNEM TV 5

91-year-old becomes U.S. citizen after 60 years

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SAGINAW COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

Monday was 60 years in the making for Gerda Lentz. The 91-year-old got to cross a big item off her bucket list.

"I feel so great. I'd like to tell the whole world I’m a U.S. citizen now," Lentz said.

Lentz's husband was in the German Army during World War II. He was captured and as a P.O.W. he was brought to a prison in Caro.

Even though he was in prison, he fell in love with America.

After being released, he went home and convinced Lentz to come back with him.

In 1955, they crossed over a river with her baby boy to escape East Germany.

Since arriving in Michigan, she kept renewing her green card. But that expired in January. Instead of renewing it again she wanted to finally become a full-fledged U.S. citizen.

"It is a wonderful life here in the United States," Lentz said.

Mike Wooley, the attorney who helped make this all possible, called the proceedings emotional.

"Her story is just so deep and compelling and she's such a sweet lady I just adore her," Wooley said.

Wooley specializes in immigration and naturalization. He said he worked tirelessly for the person he calls his favorite client.

"For every level in our federal government that touched her case I believe every officer and judge felt exactly the same way," Wooley said. "And it just makes you proud to be an American. Everything worked the way it ought to work."

After 60 years in the making, Lentz’s dream of becoming an American is finally in focus.

"This is the greatest country in the world, the greatest country in the world. There is no other country in the world like America," Lentz said.

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