The Marines know a thing or two about ceremonies.

We were at Parris Island in May for my son’s graduation from recruit training.

The day before graduation, each platoon was introduced and marched before us in formation. It would be the first time we’d seen our sons and daughters since dropping them off months earlier and we were all eager to spend the afternoon with our kids.

But before allowing for the hugs and photos, there was a special event. We had the honor to look on as a dozen new Americans were sworn in under the Naturalization at Basic Training Initiative, which allows recruits to become US citizens when they graduate basic training.

New Americans, new Marines.

There is no easy road to citizenship, but the one these men chose was a doozy. They’d just completed a gruelling training regime, and they’d made a commitment to years of service. Now, raising their hands to take their oath, they are newly minted Americans — complete with a full-time job, and the prospect of training and educational benefits that will give bring them great opportunity.

All of our forbearers came here from somewhere else, and for all the things we hear in the news that are wrong with immigration, here is something right.

2 thoughts on “Citizens

  1. Awesome, amazing, inspiring. My dad was the Chief of Staff at Parris Island at the end of his 26-year career, while I was going through my own indoctrination years in Annapolis . . . so whenever I’d go home for vacation, I’d get to hear and see all those Marines in training doing their things. Even just as a bystander, the graduation ceremonies on the Parade Ground were among the most positive emotional scenes I’ve ever witnessed . . . so can’t imagine how proud you must have been to have one of your own men out there on the tarmac!

    1. It was a great experience. One of the most surprising things is how they support these graduation events every week that involve a horde of visitors. It shows quite a commitment to the recruits and their families.

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