45th SB honors Hispanic contributions to military

| October 17, 2013 | 1 Comment
Lt. Col. Alberto Rodriguez (second from right), chief of future operations, 8th TSC, cuts into the ceremonial cake with Col. Gregory Boyd (second from left) and Command Sgt. Maj. Toese Tia (left), command team for the 45th Sust. Bde., 8th TSC, during a Hispanic Heritage celebration, Oct. 2.

Lt. Col. Alberto Rodriguez (second from right), chief of future operations, 8th TSC, cuts into the
ceremonial cake with Col. Gregory Boyd (second from left) and Command Sgt. Maj. Toese Tia (left),
command team for the 45th Sust. Bde., 8th TSC, during a Hispanic Heritage celebration, Oct. 2.

Story and photos by
Spc. Erin Sherwood
45th Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs, 8th Theater Sust. Command

FORT SHAFTER FLATS — More than 200 Soldiers throughout the 8th Theater Sustainment Command attended a Hispanic Heritage celebration, here, Oct. 2.

The event, which included a dance exhibition and food, was held as part of a monthlong effort to highlight the contributions made by Hispanic Soldiers throughout the history of the U.S. military.

Soldiers of the 8th TSC and subordinate units line up to sample a variety of Hispanic foods during the celebration.

Soldiers of the 8th TSC and subordinate units line up to sample a variety of Hispanic foods during the celebration.

“Our main goal is to promote awareness,” said Michelle Ward, equal opportunity adviser for the 45th Sust. Brigade, 8th TSC.

“If I walk around today and ask Soldiers to name three Hispanic countries, not many can do it. I would like to change that,” Ward said.

Many Soldiers with non-Hispanic roots also stopped by the observance to take part in the events and support their Hispanic American battle buddies.

“As Soldiers in the military, we all come from very different backgrounds,” said Staff Sgt. Janet Chavez, 8th TSC. “You live and work with your battle (buddies) closely every day, so it helps to understand their culture. That could be one of your Soldiers or peers.”

Hispanic Americans are the largest minority in the U.S. and have a long history of service in the armed forces, having fought in every major war since the American Revolution.

They have also received the most medals of honor, from the beginning of the Civil War up through Operation Enduring Freedom.

One display at the Hispanic Heritage celebration included a sombrero with flags from different Hispanic countries.

One display at the Hispanic Heritage celebration included a sombrero with flags from different Hispanic countries.

“For Hispanic Americans, the armed forces have been a great place to seek, find and achieve success,” said Lt. Col. Alberto Rodriguez, chief of future operations with the 8th TSC, who gave an inspiring speech during the event.

Although other minorities face challenges of their own within the ranks, Hispanic Americans, in particular, often encounter language barriers when they enlist in the military.

“A lot of Hispanic Americans are offered jobs in the military where English is not a requirement,” said Ward. “I think it’s important we aren’t badgering or mistreating these Soldiers because of a communication difficulty.”

In closing, Rodriguez left the Soldiers of the 8th TSC with a simple, but strong, message.

“Hispanics are the strength of our Army, and our Army is the strength of our nation,” he said.

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Category: News, Observances

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  1. Julio Hernandez says:

    I’m proud of Lt. Col. Alberto Rodríguez. US Army hace to care this guy. Nice article.

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