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For more information visit the U.S. Army Korea Media Center at: http://imcom.korea.army.mil United States Forces Korea welcomed 43 new U.S. citizens to its ranks during a naturalization ceremony held at United States Army Garrison Yongsan, Dec. 15. Thirty-seven active-duty Servicemembers and six spouses of active-duty military members were naturalized as American citizens during the one hour ceremony. Although this was the first time the newlynaturalized citizens swore the Oath of Allegiance, many of the Servicemembers present had already demonstrated their patriotism while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan before becoming U.S. citizens. Staff Sgt. Francis Manalac, originally from the Philippines, said he started the naturalization process while serving in Iraq. “This is a very special ceremony,” he said. “Today is the culmination of a fouryear process.” Staff Sgt. Manalac now calls Chicago home. “All are being naturalized because of their service,” said Kenneth J. Sherman, Citizen and Immigration Services Field Office Director, U.S. Embassy, Seoul. “They are from 20 countries, on five continents with one thing in common—their service and sacrifice. There are people in this audience who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan— willing to give the ultimate sacrifice.” Sherman also noted that it is not only the Soldiers and Sailors who sacrifice and endure, but military families as well. That is the reasoning behind a new program allowing spouses of active-duty military members to become naturalized while living overseas, he said. On Jan. 28, 2008, President George W. Bush signed a bill, which was passed by Congress, permitting spouses stationed with their sponsor overseas to pursue naturalization.
For more information visit the U.S. Army Korea Media Center at: http://imcom.korea.army.mil YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea— President George W. Bush spoke to a full-capacity crowd of service members, families and civilian employees here at U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan Collier Field House Aug. 6. The president arrived to the enthusiastic cheers of more than a thousand Americans who serve, live and work on the Korean peninsula along with their Republic of Korea military counterparts. Bush thanked the service members for their dedicated service, lauded military families and commended the U.S. alliance with the Republic of Korea, which has endured for 55 years. “The American people are grateful for your service and so is your Commander in Chief,” Bush said. “So to the military spouses and to the children who are here, please know that the United States of America is grateful for the sacrifices that you all are making on behalf of our country. And I am proud to be in your presence.” To ROK military personnel, Bush said “We’re honored by your friendship. We’re proud of our alliance, and we’re inspired by your work to advance the cause of liberty.” Bush commented on the historical importance of the ROK-US alliance for the region. “Fifty-five years have passed since the guns went quiet and the cease-fire was signed on this peninsula,” Bush said. “And since that time our forces have kept the peace. Our nations have built a robust alliance.”