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20 Service Members Become US Citizens In USS Midway Museum Ceremony

Military members are pictured in a U.S. Citizenship ceremony at the USS Midway Museum on July 2, 2021.
Alexandra Rangel
Military members are pictured in a U.S. Citizenship ceremony at the USS Midway Museum on July 2, 2021.

Twenty military service members became U.S. Citizens in a naturalization ceremony Friday aboard the USS Midway Museum.

The eight sailors and 12 marines who took the oath of allegiance originate from 10 different countries which include Costa Rica, El Salvador, Ghana, Honduras, Liberia, Mexico, Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Trinidad and Tobago.

20 Service Members Become US Citizens In USS Midway Museum Ceremony
Listen to this story by Alexandra Rangel.

We spoke to sailor Tharindu Nallapuruma from Sri Lanka, who moved to the U.S. 14 years ago.

“It’s been a journey. I’m very happy, I’m very grateful to finally be a citizen,” Nallapuruma said.

Sailor Jose Rafael Ortega-Pena, moved to the U.S. from Mexico when he was just one year old. He says the journey to naturalization wasn’t easy.

“Being able to go to deployment, come back from it and become a citizen, it was a process, but we got it done and it’s over with,” Ortega-Pena said.

Pena’s family who lives across the country couldn't make it to the ceremony in time, but they were there in spirit.

“They said to enjoy it and experience it because it’s a one in a lifetime thing that you get to experience,” he said.

VIDEO: 20 Service Members Become US Citizens In USS Midway Museum Ceremony