REEDLEY, California (KSEE/KGPE) — This Veterans Day is special, says Margarito Negrete whose son Pedro serves in the California National Guard.

Because of Pedro’s service, Margarito and his wife may finally be on the road to U.S. citizenship after more than two decades.

“It’s a big help, and I’m so glad we now have this opportunity,” Negrete said.

“So far, he has gotten his ‘Parole in Place’ and work permit approved,” explained Linda Barreto, Negrete’s attorney.

Parole in Place‘ is an Obama-era discretionary program that allows undocumented parents, children or spouses of military personnel or veterans to stay in the U.S. for a certain period of time.

The program itself does not grant an immigration status, but it can help applicants requesting immigration benefits that require a lawful entry. That includes a green card.

“When Pedro turns 21 next year, he will be able to petition for me and my wife,” Negrete, a Reedley transplant, shared. He added that he’s most hopeful about the opportunity to return to Jalisco, Mexico and visit loved ones for the first time in more than 20 years.

Negrete said he and his wife will continue working in the agriculture industry with their work permits.

“I thank God we’re still here, and we can keep contributing to this country. Le echamos ganas. We work hard.”