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Sailors And Marines Take Oath Of Citizenship On USS Midway

— Sailors and marines from 26 countries boarded the USS Midway on San Diego Bay today to take the oath of U.S. citizenship.

Sailors and Marines take the oath of U.S. citizenship on the USS Midway on May 13, 2010.
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Above: Sailors and Marines take the oath of U.S. citizenship on the USS Midway on May 13, 2010.

Judge Janis Sammartino asked the military men and women to stand as the names of their native counties were read. Later, she would recite the oath of citizenship as the sailors and marines repeated it, dressed in uniform with their hands held high.

In all, 89 active duty servicemen and women took the oath. Foreign nationals serving in the U.S. military can apply immediately for citizenship in times of conflict.

Wendel Bailey, formerly of Jamaica, said military service appealed to him.

"I wanted to do something like, to actually go down in history, you know," he said. "Also, being here for a period of time, making this country my home, I said... Why not become a citizen?"

The county registrar of voters set up a booth on the USS Midway to encourage the new citizens to register to vote.