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AETC Commander brings message of opportunity to new US citizens
SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Gen. Edward A. Rice Jr., commander of Air Education and Training Command, speaks to immigrants from 87 countries Nov. 20 at a U.S. naturalization and citizenship ceremony at Trinity University’s Laurie Auditorium here. As the guest of honor, General Rice addressed the 885 new citizens to welcome and encourage them to get the most out of the opportunity citizenship can bring. (U.S. Air Force photo/Dianne Moffett)
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AETC Commander brings message of opportunity to new US citizens

Posted 11/21/2012   Updated 11/21/2012 Email story   Print story

    


by Tech. Sgt. Beth Anschutz
Air Education and Training Command Public Affairs


11/21/2012 - SAN ANTONIO, Texas  -- Gen. Edward A. Rice Jr., commander of Air Education and Training Command, spoke to immigrants from 87 countries Nov. 20 at a U.S. naturalization and citizenship ceremony at Trinity University's Laurie Auditorium here.

As the guest of honor, General Rice addressed the 885 new citizens to welcome and encourage them to get the most out of the opportunity citizenship can bring.

"I share in your joy," he said. "This is indeed a special day, not only for you, but for all of us who call ourselves Americans."

Although his first citizenship event, the general said he has been to many other events that mark a transition in one's life, as with Airmen in Basic Military Training.

"We make only one promise to the people we bring into the Armed Forces, but it is one of the greatest promises we can ever make to them," the general said. "We promise them opportunity."

Rice urged the new citizens of all cultures, ethnicities and genders to strive to reach their full potential in America. After sharing his personal reflections of the successes of his family after generations of hard work, he encouraged all of the new citizens to do the same.

"Is this the land of opportunity? You bet it is," he said. "And my family, like millions of others, is living proof of this."

In conclusion, the general spoke of his hopes for all of those in attendance.

"Just as citizenship provides benefits, it also incurs responsibilities," General Rice said. "One of those responsibilities is to use the opportunities we are given, not only for our own benefit, but for the benefit of our communities and our country."

"For new citizens, this country has given you an opportunity that will open up other opportunities for you and your family. I encourage you to repay this considerable gift by helping to keep this country strong in whatever way you can," he concluded.



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