Service Members Become Citizens Aboard USS Midway Memorial Museum

Service members from 23 countries became U.S. citizens during a naturalization ceremony aboard the USS Midway Memorial Museum in San Diego Nov. 9.

In honor of Veterans Day, the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) turned the flight deck of the Midway into an official courtroom, where 41 service members from the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard were sworn in as citizens.

Paul Pierre, USCIS San Diego District Director, said the number of countries represented at the ceremony, which included nations such as Ghana, South Korea, China and Austria, shows the true diversity of today’s Armed Forces.

“As we look among the military members with us today, we are reminded of this nation’s uniqueness, the ethnic and cultural diversity of the military warriors that have already sworn an oath to protect the United States of America,” Pierre said. “These military members place themselves in harm’s way on a daily basis to protect this great nation; now they are becoming citizens of the country they have been defending. You will not find a more deserving group of people in the world who deserve their citizenship today than this group.”

Vice Adm. Gerald R. Beaman, commander, U.S. 3rd fleet, and U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, served as the keynote speakers for the ceremony.

Beaman commended all of the new citizens for their service and their commitment to their new country.

“Each person here has an incredible story to tell and to share about their journey, and I ask that they do share it with their fellow service members,” said Beaman. “Their examples serve to reinvigorate our own feelings of pride, service, patriotism, and reinforces our knowledge that we live in the greatest country in the world.”

Source: navy, November 11, 2011