POLITICS

Army veterans recruited to teach English to aspiring U.S. citizens in New York

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 18:  Memebrs of the Army's 369th Infantry Regiment prepare to march with fellow soldiers, boy scouts and various other military aligned groups in the 369th Infantry Regiment Parade in Harlem on May 18, 2014 in New York City. The parade, which takes place on the historic Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard, looks to celebrate the contribution African Americans and Puerto Ricans have made to military. The 369th was home to the "Harlem Hellfighters", a unit made up of both African Americans and Puerto Ricans, which fought in both World War I and World War II.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 18: Memebrs of the Army's 369th Infantry Regiment prepare to march with fellow soldiers, boy scouts and various other military aligned groups in the 369th Infantry Regiment Parade in Harlem on May 18, 2014 in New York City. The parade, which takes place on the historic Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard, looks to celebrate the contribution African Americans and Puerto Ricans have made to military. The 369th was home to the "Harlem Hellfighters", a unit made up of both African Americans and Puerto Ricans, which fought in both World War I and World War II. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)  (2014 Getty Images)

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is calling U.S. military veterans back into service for a new type of mission.

Cuomo is unveiling a plan to recruit veterans from across New York to help newly arrived immigrants learn English and prepare for their naturalization exams.

"New York has long been a beacon to those who come to this nation to make a better lives for themselves and their families," Cuomo said, according to the New York Daily News. "I can think of no better way to honor and continue this rich legacy than this program, which pairs heroes who fought to preserve the American Dream with those who came to here to pursue the American Dream."

Cuomo’s plan has New York’s Division of Veterans Affairs working alongside other veterans groups to recruit around 100 former armed service members to take part in the program. Those veterans selected will work with the state’s Office for New Americans by providing assistance at one of the agency’s 26 Opportunity Centers across the state.

As part of their work, veterans will hold mock testing sessions on U.S. civics with the immigrants and also provide assistance with computers and tablet devices as the immigrants work on their English.

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"This initiative will provide a valuable opportunity for veterans to help immigrants, while also honing their own skills as they re-integrate into society," said Steven Choi, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition.

Besides the veterans working with those seeking citizenship, the immigrants will also be encouraged to volunteer with organizations that serve veterans.

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