West Point hosts naturalization ceremony

November 10, 2009 7:14:16 AM PST
Some members of the military were almost veterans before they were Americans. That all changed on Monday when 18 servicemen and women stood and took an oath of allegiance to become U.S. citizens.

In all, 125 natives of 42 counties became American citizens during the ceremony.

For the first time ever the naturalization ceremony took place at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point. That wasn't a coincidence.

This group is the first since a new law went into effect that speeds up the citizenship process for those in the armed forces.

Senator Chuck Schumer introduced the legislation that cuts through much of the red tape.

The 18 service members are all New Yorkers on active duty. Non-citizens can join the military as long as they possess a green card.

The numbers are larger than you might think. Since 2002, 48,000 servicemen and women have been naturalized.

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