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 Airman took the Oath of Allegiance during a Flag Day 2011 Ceremony at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History on June 14.
 During the immigration interview required before naturalization, Airman Vives was tested on her knowledge of American history.
 "This is the proudest moment of my life," said Senior Airman Deborah Vives.
 
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11 WG Airman takes Oath of Allegiance Flag Day 2011
WASHINGTON – Senior Airman Deborah Vives, 11th Comptroller Squadron customer service technician, takes the Oath of Allegiance during a naturalization ceremony held at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History here June 14. This naturalization ceremony was in celebration of Flag Day 2011 and featured guest speaker Gerda Weissmann Klein, Holocaust survivor, naturalized citizen and founder of Citizenship Counts. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bahja J. Jones)
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11 WG Airman takes Oath of Allegiance Flag Day 2011

Posted 6/16/2011   Updated 6/16/2011 Email story   Print story

    


by Airman 1st Class Bahja J. Jones
11th Wing Public Affairs


6/16/2011 - WASHINGTON -- "I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance to any prince, potentate, state or sovereignty . . . ," Right hand raised and beaming with pride, Senior Airman Deborah Vives, 11th Comptroller Squadron customer service technician, along with 19 others took the Oath of Allegiance during a Flag Day 2011 Ceremony at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History on June 14.

The oath was led by Alejandro Mayorkas, U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services director, followed by encouraging remarks from Gerda Weissmann Klein, Holocaust survivor, naturalized citizen and founder of Citizenship counts. She congratulated each of the new citizens for taking the next step and becoming "one of us."

Airman Vives came to the United Stated with her uncle in February 2005 from Monterrey, Mexico to pursue a job opportunity. After spending nearly three years in the U.S, she decided to join the Air Force September 2008.

"I was 22 and I wanted to take my life in a different direction," said Airman Vives. One of the reasons that she took this step in becoming a citizen was to fulfill the requirements to enable her reenlist and continue her service in the Air Force.

"I am unable to express how proud I am of her in this moment," said Jaime Raskansky, Airman Vives' uncle who traveled from Houston, Texas to share this moment with her. "This is the proudest moment of my life."

During the immigration interview required before naturalization, Airman Vives was tested on her knowledge of American history. Her supervisor, Staff Sgt. Jaymark Ochoa, 11 CPTS customer service technician and coworker Airman 1st Class Jeremy Balderas, 11 CPTS finance attaché technician, worked with her to study for the test, she said.

"We grilled her during lunch and whenever we had free time in preparation for her test," said Airman Balderas. "I'm very proud of her; she's come a long way!"

Airman Vives was joined not only by her uncle at the ceremony, but also her coworkers and the 11 CPTS commander Lt. Col. William P. Martin.

"I wasn't expecting such big support from everybody. It meant a lot to me." Airman Vives said. "The Air Force is such a great family and I am very blessed to be part of it."



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