WHITE HOUSE (CNN)-More than two dozen active duty service members will celebrate their Fourth of July with a very patriotic event.
Twenty-five members of the U.S. Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force will be sworn in as citizens in the East Room of the White House. President Obama will make remarks and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano will deliver the oath of allegiance.
The group of candidates for citizenship are from seventeen different countries and include a marine who has been awarded the Purple Heart and several winners of the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
Other members of the president's cabinet and senior White House officials will also participate in similar ceremonies around the nation. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis will participate in a ceremony in New York and SBA Administrator Karen Mills will be in Massachusetts.
This is the third naturalization ceremony at the White House during the Obama administration, although none have been on Independence Day. Vice President Biden participated in a ceremony at Camp Victory with members of the military during a trip to Baghdad on July 4, 2009.
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greeted the U.S. Navy’s first contingent of women submariners to be assigned to the Navy’s operational submarine force, in the Blue Room of the White House on Memorial Day. The 24 women were accepted into the Navy’s nuclear submarine program after completing an intensive training program and serve on ballistic and guided missile submarines throughout the Navy. Also attending were Admiral Mark Ferguson, left, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, right.
President Obama presented the Medal of Honor posthumously to Army Specialist Leslie H. Sabo, Jr. for "conspicuous gallantry" at a ceremony Wednesday at the White House. Sabo was killed trying to save his fellow soldiers in Cambodia in 1970 during the Vietnam War.
President Obama spoke of the nation's gratitude to all of its soldiers.
"This gathering of soldiers, past and present, could not be more timely. As a nation, we've ended the war in Iraq. We are moving towards an end to the war in Afghanistan. After a decade of war, our troops are coming home. And this month, we’ll begin to mark the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, a time when, to our shame, our veterans did not always receive the respect and the thanks they deserved - a mistake that must never be repeated."
Specialist Sabo's honor comes 43 years after his heroic act. (Read Specialist Sabo's story on CNN Security Clearance)
Deputy NSC spokesperson Caitlin Hayden offered this written statement on the Afghanistan shooting:
"The President was informed this morning of the incident by his senior national security staff and received a briefing from them early this afternoon before calling President Karzai. This afternoon’s meeting included National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough, and Special Assistant to the President for Afghanistan and Pakistan Doug Lute."
The White House released a written statement from President Obama expressing his condolences to the Afghan people and his desire to fully investigate the incident.
"I am deeply saddened by the reported killing and wounding of Afghan civilians. I offer my condolences to the families and loved ones of those who lost their lives, and to the people of Afghanistan, who have endured too much violence and suffering. This incident is tragic and shocking, and does not represent the exceptional character of our military and the respect that the United States has for the people of Afghanistan. I fully support Secretary Panetta’s and General Allen’s commitment to get the facts as quickly as possible and to hold accountable anyone responsible."
After reports that an American service member allegedly shot more than a dozen Afghan civilians in Kandahar province, Jay Carney, White House Press Secretary, said, “We are deeply concerned by the initial reports of this incident, and are monitoring the situation closely."
Administration officials confirmed that President Obama had been briefed on the situation.
WASHINGTON (CNN) –With the U.S. housing market still struggling to recover, President Obama is hoping to provide some relief for those in the military, veterans and homeowners with government insured loans.
The announcement, expected to come at the president’s 1:15pm news conference Tuesday in the White House briefing room, aims to reduce fees for borrowers with FHA loans who are trying to refinance at lower rates, saving about $1000 a year.
In addition, the president is expected to announce an agreement with lenders that will compensate those in the military and veterans who have been “wrongfully” charged higher interest rates and “wrongfully” foreclosed upon, according to information provided by a White House official.
“This is part of the president’s overall strategy to support responsible homeowners and the housing recovery,” the statement said.
President Obama stopped by Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to visit with wounded service members on Friday. The president awarded 8 purple hearts during his visit with 27 wounded warriors – 11 Soldiers, 14 Marines, 1 Sailor and 1 NATO Forces member. 26 of the service members were injured in Afghanistan and 1 in Iraq.
President Obama finishes up the work week with a visit to Walter Reed National Military Center to visit wounded servicemen. Earlier in the week he honored members of the military for their service in Iraq with a formal dinner at the White House and tomorrow, he’ll be visiting with wounded soldiers, quite possibly visiting with some who were injured in recent violence in Afghanistan. Tomorrow’s visit, like nearly all before (in his administration and George W. Bush’s administration) will be closed to the press.
The only other appearance on the president’s schedule is an event at the Department of the Interior about conservation.
full schedule after the jump
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama hosted a special dinner at the White House tonight to honor those who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn and to honor their families. President Obama, Vice President Biden, Secretary of Defense Panetta and Jt. Chiefs Chairman Dempsey addressed the guests in the East Room of the White House. The president told those gathered just "as the war wounds last a lifetime, so does our gratitude and commitment." Over 100 service men, women, Gold Star family members and representatives from veterans groups were invited along with a guest. Many chose to bring a fellow service member.
The lucky guests seated with the President:
CW4 Nelson A. Visaya
Gunnery Sergeant Deverson Lochard
Petty Officer Third Class (HM3), Max R. Rohn
Master Sergeant Jeremy D. Coombs
Master Sergeant Jessica R. Coombs
1st LT Paul S. Gonzalez
Attendees at tonight's White House dinner, “A Nation’s Gratitude: Honoring those who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn”:
The President and Mrs. Obama
The Vice President and Dr. Biden
SGT Sarah M. Adams, Killeen, TX, and Captain William Messick, Belton, TX
Mr. Eric Alva, San Antonio, TX and Dustin L. Jones, Arlington, VA
Chaplain (Colonel) Daniel Ames, Joint Staff Chaplain, Alexandria, VA
T.H. Brooke Anderson, DAP & NSS Chief of Staff & Counselor, NSS, Washington, DC, and COL Steven Miska, Washington, DC
Major General Vaughn Ary, Alexandria, VA, and Mrs. Jennifer Lynn Ary, Alexandria, VA
General Lloyd J. Austin III, Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, Washington, DC, and Mrs. Charlene D Austin, Washington, DC