NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. â€” Five Airmen were among 24 newly naturalized citizens who received their certificates of citizenship at a Lake Mead, Nev., ceremony May 18.
Airman 1st Class Perez Oppong, 99th Medical Support Group pharmacy technican, Airman 1st Class Pedro Orozco, Airman 1st Class Sharmae Bernardo, and Airman 1st Class Onesimo Vasquez, 99th Dental Squadron dental assistants, and Senior Airman Loren King, 99th MDSG pharmacy technician, took the Oath of Allegiance in an emotional ceremony on the upper deck of Desert Princess, the largest boat on Lake Mead, in view of the Hoover Dam and the new Mike Oâ€™Callaghan/Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge.
Judge George Foley, United States District Judge for the District of Nevada, presided over the event, which was Lake Mead National Recreation Areaâ€™s first-ever naturalization ceremony. Also aboard the boat were friends, family, representatives from three federal agencies and various media.
The 24 new citizens represented 12 countries of origin.
The ceremony was a joint venture between the National Park Service, U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Service. The idea for the Lake Mead ceremony came from Hannah Dey, President of the National Honor Society at Boulder City High School, with assistance from Lake Mead National Recreation Area superintendent William Dickinson.
Hannah Dey participated in the ceremony, leading those assembled in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Shortly after the ceremony, the new citizens and fellow passengers viewed a video message of congratulations from President Obama.
(Retired Lt. Col. Ron LaBar, LaBarâ€™s Beat, contributed to this article.)