Eighty sailors and Marines from 25 countries–from Canada to Syria–stood on the deck of the U-S-S Midway today and took the oath of citizenship — after already serving under the U-S flag in Iraq.
The were naturalized in a Veterans Day ceremony aboard the retired aircraft carrier in San Diego Bay.
The ceremony was watched by hundreds of cheering relatives of the new citizens.
The event came as the nation observed Veterans Day with about 160-thousand troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan — some of them locked in fierce house-to-house fighting in Fallujah.
U-S District Court Judge William Hayes administered the oath of citizenship.
He noted that many of the sailors and Marines are from countries that deny individual liberties.
Hayes told them: “You as representatives of the armed forces know above all, like most citizens, that freedom is not free.”