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Media Contact: Tom Harvey, 512-389-4453, tom.harvey@tpwd.texas.gov [TH]

TPWD Website: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us

TPWD News Release — Nov. 10, 2008

75 Residents Become U.S. Citizens Aboard Battleship TEXAS

Houston Naturalization Ceremony Marks "Veterans Appreciation Month"

HOUSTON — A diverse group of 75 Houston area residents representing 18 countries took the Oath of Allegiance and became United States citizens on the bow of the Battleship TEXAS Nov. 10. Among them were 10 soldiers, sailors, and Marines who are currently serving in the military.

Brig. Gen. John "Jack" Nicholson, (U.S. Army, retired) secretary of the American Battle Monuments Commission based in Washington, D.C., delivered the keynote address.

In 1948, the Battleship TEXAS became the first battleship memorial museum in the United States. That same year, on the anniversary of Texas Independence, the TEXAS was presented to the state of Texas and commissioned as the flagship of the Texas Navy. In 1983, the TEXAS was placed under the stewardship of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and is permanently anchored on Houston ship channel as part of the San Jacinto Battleground complex.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) designated November as "Veterans Appreciation Month" to honor all who have served and continue to serve in the United States armed forces.

The battleship ceremony is part of a range of activities occurring during the month, including naturalization ceremonies for members of the armed forces, educational seminars at military installations for service members and their families, and the launch of an outreach initiative to hire disabled veterans through the military’s Wounded Warrior Program.

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