25th CAB hosts Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month observance

| June 3, 2011 | 0 Comments
Members of the Hawaii Naginata Federation execute a weapons demonstration during an Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month observance at the Sgt. Smith Theater, Schofield Barracks, May 25.

Members of the Hawaii Naginata Federation execute a weapons demonstration during an Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month observance at the Sgt. Smith Theater, Schofield Barracks, May 25.

Story and Photo by
Sgt. Daniel Schroeder
25th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Today’s Army is composed of diverse religions, races, ethnicities and cultures.

To pay tribute to those differences, the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, hosted an observance for Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month at the Sgt. Smith Theater, here, May 25.

Members of Halau-okekai and the Hawaii Naginata Federation presented pieces of their cultures for members of the U.S. Army-Pacific community who were in attendance.

Halau-okekai performed music and dances from the islands of Hawaii, Tahiti and Samoa, which showcased the islands’ rich heritage.

“It is great to attend events like this, especially as a Soldier,” said Sgt. 1st Class Jeff Loyd, operations noncommissioned officer in charge, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 25th CAB. “As leaders, you work with everyone, and it is important to have an understanding of the … people you work with.

“We hold a lot of culture as an Army and as a country. These events allow (us) an opportunity to receive a better understanding of the cultures in our Army and in our country,” Loyd explained.

The Hawaii Naginata Federation performed Jikishinkage Ryu Naginata-Jutsu; the performances showcased different weapons and demonstrated how they are used in combat.

Among the people who attended the cultural observance, several distinguished guests showed their support and appreciation for the event, including Command Sgt. Maj. Iuniasolua Savusa, senior enlisted leader, U.S. Pacific Command, who was the guest speaker.

“Diversity is the blending of all our strengths (and) the weaving together of the invaluable contributions of our fellow Asian-Pacific American Soldiers, civilians and families into the social, political and cultural dimensions of our country,” said Lt. Col. Keriem Kvalevog, acting commander, 25th CAB. “It is one of our greatest strengths.”

Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month

May is a celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders.

The observance originated in a congressional bill in 1977, through a House resolution that called upon the president to proclaim the first 10 days of May as Asian-Pacific Heritage Week.

Sens. Daniel Inouye and Spark Matsunaga introduced a similar bill in the Senate. Both were passed in 1978, and then, in 1990, President George H. W. Bush designated May for a monthlong observance.

Asian-Pacific Islanders make up 4 percent of active duty and Reserve Soldiers, and 2 percent of the National Guard.

(Editor’s Note: Information was compiled from www.army.mil/standto.) 

 

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Category: News, Observances

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