Madera CHP officer helped make sure a Modesto woman took part in her naturalization ceremony

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Madera CHP officer Javier Ruvalcaba was part of a special detail Tuesday morning. (KFSN)

Madera CHP officer Javier Ruvalcaba was part of a special detail Tuesday morning.

"This police he help me-- help me too much. God bless him god bless him," said Helen Sarkees, Modesto.

While responding to an accident north of Avenue 17 on Highway 99 Ruvalcaba met 83-year-old Sarkees. Despite her obvious signs of pain, and a totaled car, she had somewhere she needed to be.

After taking the citizenship test seven times Sarkees was finally getting sworn in as a US citizen.

"That enthusiasm, her eagerness to be here, the fact that she put her pain aside and her suffering-- that pushed me to drive out here and made it happen for her," said Ruvalcaba.

Arriving in style Sarkees was taken to Valedez Hall by CHP escort.

Thanks to officer Ruvalcaba Sarkees was able to take her oath alongside more than 900 other people.

"I'm going to be American. I be happy-- very happy to be American lady, I be very very happy."

Sarkees came to the US in 2007 from Iraq.

"I see trouble in my country so I come to America. I'm very happy in America."

Sarkees said the sense of community she feels is why she was so eager, but more importantly, proud to become an American.

"It's very free. Not like my country-- it's not free."

"She is delighted-- you can see the glow in her face," said Ruvalcaba.

Sarkees sustained injuries to her left knee, leg, and shoulder as a result of the accident. She went to the hospital after the ceremony and is expected to be okay.
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