35 Military Members Become US Citizens
Ceremony Held Monday On Midway Museum
Last Updated: 473 days ago
Thirty-five men and women from 19 different countries who currently serve in the armed forces officially became citizens of the United States on Monday.
The ceremony was held onboard the Midway Museum.
"I talked to my mom on the phone," said Marine Cpl. Andrea Barcenas, a new citizen. "She was crying and said, 'I'm so proud of you.'"
After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, laws were enacted to help speed up the process to citizenship for those who serve in the armed forces.
Gabriela Valesquez, who was born in Guatemala, joined the Navy three and a half years ago. She said becoming a citizen will help her career.
"With my jobs, the jobs that were available to get, there were certain things I couldn't go for, but now I can, so I was just waiting for this moment," she said.
Each swore an oath and was individually called to the stage on the flight deck of the museum to receive a certificate of citizenship.
"This moment is magnificent. It means so much," said Luisa Medina, who came to see her son Luis take the oath.
Alfredo Medina, Luis' father, added, "We are going to follow in his footsteps."
The Medinas, who became permanent residents after moving to the United States from Venezuela, said they plan to become citizens later this year.
The ceremony on the Midway was one of 45 similar ceremonies across the country to welcome more than 4,000 members of the military as new U.S. citizens.