SMC Airman, 15 Other Military Members Sworn in as U.S. Citizens at Naturalization Ceremony

Senior Airman Gerard Listhrop from the Space and Missile Systems Center Financial Management office holds his citizenship certificate after he was sworn in as a U.S. citizen. U.S. Air Force photo.

Senior Airman Gerard Listhrop from the Space and Missile Systems Center Financial Management office holds his citizenship certificate after he was sworn in as a U.S. citizen. U.S. Air Force photo.

LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- A celebration of citizenship was held Tuesday, May 23, at the Los Angeles Convention Center, where nearly 5,000 immigrants, including one SMC Airman, were sworn in as U.S. citizens. The newest citizens came from 135 countries and included 15 military members - three of which were Airmen.

Senior Airman Gerard Listhrop, from the Space and Missile Systems Center Financial Management office, and a native of Trinidad/Tobago proudly recited the Oath of Allegiance. The U.S. District Court judge presiding over the swearing in ceremony asked the crowd to raise their hand and recite after him, "The Oath of Allegiance."

After the oath was administered, a judge encouraged the new citizens to take time to celebrate their achievement and to respect our laws, tolerate, accept and embrace our countries differences, and to get their passports.

Russell Stuart, an officer candidate, stationed at the 146th Channel Islands Air National Guard Station, sat behind the military members in the section reserved for friends and family. He was there supporting his friend from Rome, Italy, who recently joined the U.S. Army.

“We stole one of the good ones from Italy and he’ll make a great citizen,” Stuart said.

After the ceremony, the military members, their friends and family exited the auditorium first to receive their citizenship certificates. As the military members left the convention center, they were met with cheers and applause from hundreds of people waving American flags.

When asked how it feels to be an U.S. citizen Listhrop replied, “It feels great. I have more privileges now and I can vote!”