Largest Naturalization Service Overseas Yields 259 New Citizens
The largest overseas naturalization ceremony held to date occurred recently at Camp Victory in Iraq. The ceremony was held for soldiers serving on Active Duty in the Military, who were given the chance to be sworn in as United States Citizens. There were a total of 259 new citizens that were sworn in, and they represented over 70 different countries by pledging allegiance to the United States and the US Constitution.
Lieutenant General Lloyd J. Austin III is a commander with MNF Corps, Iraq, and presided over the swearing in ceremony. “We are all very pleased and honored to be participating in this ceremony today,” said General Austin.
Service members from across the entire theater of operations were gathered together at Camp Victory in Iraq, to take place in the ceremony to become citizens of the United States.
There are periodically ceremonies held overseas to give soldiers who qualify for citizenship the opportunity to be sworn in and to get the chance to become citizens. But this is the first time that over 250 candidates were sworn in at the same time. It was done en mass for several reasons, partly to help show unity for the ongoing Iraqi mission, and partly to accommodate the large numbers of qualified citizenship candidates that were assembled overseas due to the war on terror.
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“We are blessed to live in a nation where we accept and weave together all the different cultures into what is our American way of life and culture,” said General Austin. “America Thanks all of you for your sacrifices for the Iraqi people and for American’s.