A Commitment to Those Who Serve Every Day
Although Veterans Day falls on November 11 each year, USCIS honors those who serve year round. We appreciate the many sacrifices service men and women make while protecting our country.
Naturalization Ceremonies Held in Honor of Veterans Day
Since 2001, USCIS has naturalized 75,000 U.S. veterans from every branch of the Armed Services at special military naturalization ceremonies. This year is no different. In honor of Veterans Day, we are holding 33 special naturalization ceremonies for individuals who swore to defend our country, even before they became its citizens.
One of these ceremonies took place aboard the USS Essex in Subic Bay, Manila where we naturalized 18 U.S. sailors. The sailors were in the Philippines as part of the 28th annual U.S.-Philippines Amphibious Landing Exercises.
The Presentation of the Colors on board the USS Essex (photo courtesy of the United States Navy)
Capt. Dave Fluker, Commanding Officer of the USS Essex, and U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines, Harry K. Thomas Jr., spoke at the ceremony. Thomas noted that the sailors were among the many people enriching the fabric of our nation with their culture and traditions, as well as the sacrifices they make on behalf of our country.
The Oath of Allegiance is Administered in Subic Bay (photo courtesy of the United States Navy)
Two of the naturalized sailors were born and raised near Subic Bay, and then immigrated to the United States and enlisted in the U.S. Navy.
A Proud Part of the Wider DHS Commitment to Veterans
At USCIS, and throughout the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), we are fortunate to count those who have served as friends and colleagues. Every day, veterans bring their skills, talents and experiences to bear on our many mission areas.
Because veterans play such an important role in our Department’s mission, Secretary Napolitano set a goal to employ 50,000 veterans at DHS by the end of 2012. We are proud that today, thanks to the commitment of individuals across the Department, we have reached that goal, more than a year ahead of schedule. Veterans now comprise 25 percent of our civilian workforce, in addition to the 49,000 active duty and reserve members of the U.S. Coast Guard.
To read more about the Department’s commitment to veterans, check out this blog post written by our Deputy Secretary, Jane Holl Lute, on The White House Blog.