MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. — Ten young men became American citizens on the same day they were presented to their families as Marines, part of a new program that allows for recruits to go through the naturalization process at the end of boot camp.
Members of Hotel Company, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, participated in the Family Day ceremony, which precedes boot camp graduation, here on Jan. 31. Ten of the new Marines decided to join the Corps before they were officially considered Americans. But that changed as they stood in front of the rest of the battalion and their families, raised their right hands and took the Oath of Allegiance to become citizens of the country they’ve sworn to protect.
The 10 Marines were born in different countries. Pvt. Giuseppe Raccuglia, 18, was born in Italy and came to the U.S. as a toddler. His family moved here for better opportunities, his mother, Maria DiBacco, said. They traveled from Hartford, Conn., to see Raccuglia graduate and watched him become a Marine and an American.
“I have been crying since Monday,” Raccuglia’s mom said. “It is all very emotional.”