TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - During a swearing in ceremony at Maumee High School Friday, Denis Bajard became an American citizen. The French National is also a Toledo firefighter.
Bajard came here alone at 22 years old, with a degree in international business.
"My first full time job was a regular 9 to 5, office desk. You know, working the cubicle," said Bajard. "I never really enjoyed it; decided to do something a lot different that meant more than just sitting behind a desk, behind a computer."
Bajard was married here in the U.S. and has a what he calls a second family in Northwest Ohio, with the support of his first family back in France. Plus, he has a third family with the Toledo Fire Department.
Private Sterling Rahe with TFD was proud to support him at the swearing in ceremony.
"In the 1800s, most of our rank and file at that time were immigr ants," said Rahe. "This is the first time in a very very long time, I'd venture to say several, several decades that we've had a member that's come on the fire department and become a naturalized citizen."
Bajard says it means a lot to him to become a citizen and share the stage with 50 others, who were proud to take the oath.
"It's been a long process. Pretty stressful, but we all made it, 51 people today. That's pretty amazing. We all have different backgrounds, different stories, but today, we're all united," said Bajard.