Crossing into the red, white, blue

Airman 1st Class Princess Okai, 9th Force Support Squadron, food service apprentice performs the Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America at the Airman Family Readiness Center at Beale Air Force Base Calif., July 27, 2012. Okai is one of more than 11,000 foreign born women serving in the armed forces as of February 2008. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Allen Pollard/Released)

Airman 1st Class Princess Okai, 9th Force Support Squadron, food service apprentice performs the Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America at the Airman Family Readiness Center at Beale Air Force Base Calif., July 27, 2012. Okai is one of more than 11,000 foreign born women serving in the armed forces as of February 2008. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Allen Pollard/Released)

Airman 1st Class Princess Okai, 9th Force Support Squadron, food service apprentice is congratulated by Lt. Col. Connie May, 9th FSS Commander on becoming an American citizen at the Airman Family Readiness Center at Beale Air Force Base Calif., July 27, 2012. Okai said she joined the Air Force to travel and improve her education. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Allen Pollard/Released)

Airman 1st Class Princess Okai, 9th Force Support Squadron, food service apprentice is congratulated by Lt. Col. Connie May, 9th FSS Commander on becoming an American citizen at the Airman Family Readiness Center at Beale Air Force Base Calif., July 27, 2012. Okai said she joined the Air Force to travel and improve her education. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Allen Pollard/Released)

Airman 1st Class Princess Okai, 9th Force Support Squadron, food service apprentice holds an American flag and her citizenship paperwork at the Airman Family Readiness Center at Beale Air Force Base Calif., July 27, 2012. Okai was born in Ghana, West Africa, her and family moved to Long Island, N.Y. in 2007. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Allen Pollard/Released)

Airman 1st Class Princess Okai, 9th Force Support Squadron, food service apprentice holds an American flag and her citizenship paperwork at the Airman Family Readiness Center at Beale Air Force Base Calif., July 27, 2012. Okai was born in Ghana, West Africa, her and family moved to Long Island, N.Y. in 2007. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Allen Pollard/Released)

BEALE AIR FORCE BASE Calif. -- An Airman from the 9th Force Support Squadron took the Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America at the Airmen Family Readiness Center here July 27.

Airman 1st Class Princess Sheriffa Okai was born in Ghana, West Africa, where she spent most of her childhood until the day her family moved to Long Island, N.Y., in 2007. Okai entered Basic Military Training Sept. 20, 2011 where she began her process to becoming a U.S. citizen.

"Being raised in Ghana, I have a different up-bringing from my other Airmen and American citizens," said Okai. "It wasn't easy but I learned to accept the changes of living in the United States."

Many American cultural barriers became difficult obstacles for Okai to overcome during her transition from Ghana.

"The food, culture, language, and the view of things really affected me at one point in my life," said Okai. "But it surely made me who I am today."

The Ghana native added she feels blessed to be born in a different country but accepted by another.

Okai is one of more than 11,000 foreign born women serving in the armed forces which makes up for 17.2 percent of the foreign born U.S. military personnel as of February 2008.

"I joined the Air Force to get out and travel, improve my education, and better myself," said Okai. "I feel privilege to wear the uniform."

Upon completing the Oath of Allegiance ceremony, friends and fellow Airmen congratulated her on her accomplishment and sacrifices of becoming an American citizen.

"I feel honored to now be an American Citizen," said Okai. "But I will always remember my homeland."