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Proud to be an American
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Roman Betancur proudly looks at the plaque presented to him by Security Equipment Company president Ken Roberts, right, on Friday. The plaque reads, “Presented to Roman Betancur, a proud new citizen of our United States of America.” - photo by Bethany Porter

Security Equipment Company employees gathered Friday to celebrate fellow employee Roman Betancur becoming a U.S. Citizen. 

Betancur was born in Medellin, Colombia on Oct. 23, 1986. In January of 1999, he and his family moved to New York where he grew up. In 2007, his family moved back to Colombia. Betancur was 20 at the time and felt Tennessee would be a great place to work and someday raise a family. 

He is now married to Jessie Betancur and they have three children. In 2017, he began working at Security Equipment Company and is a technician. He was quickly adopted into the company family. 

Betancur was celebrated at Begonia’s Friday afternoon and was given a plaque by company president Ken Roberts. Roberts said becoming a citizen was a big deal and a reason to celebrate. 

“Today is a big celebration for Roman becoming a citizen of the United States,” said Roberts. “We have a little thing here we wanted to present to Roman to recognize how proud we are of him being a citizen of our country. There are so many people who come into this country who never bother to become an official citizen. Some of them can work and stay here for a long time, but to be a citizen is really something special. It takes a lot of time and effort and work and Roman has done all of that. I just want to acknowledge how very proud we are of him.”

Betancur says he has always felt like an American and is glad he was able to officially become a citizen.

“It is something I always wanted to have. I have been in the country for 44 years now. It is such a privilege to be here. I am very overwhelmed and loved by so many people. I have always felt like an American from the moment my parents brought me here,” he said. 

The celebration was touching for Betancur who says his co-workers are like family. 

“I don’t know what to say. I have never been treated this special before. The company has been great to me and like a family. They have always treated me with respect and love and I never expected such an event. Myself, I wasn’t going to make a big deal about it. I am proud of it and very happy and excited, but I am at a loss for words,” said Betancur.