Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is more than a dream

| January 24, 2014 | 0 Comments
Maj. Gabriella McKinney of 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command performs a praise dance during the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday observance, hosted by the USARPAC EO team at Schofield’s Sgt. Smith Theater. Gen. Vincent Brooks, commander, USARPAC, was the guest speaker for the event; he challenged everyone in attendance to make a difference.

Maj. Gabriella McKinney of 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command performs a praise dance during the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday observance, hosted by the USARPAC EO team at Schofield’s Sgt. Smith Theater.

Story and photos by
Staff Sgt. Kyle Richardson
U.S. Army-Pacific Public Affairs

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — While most Soldiers prepared for an early weekend, some took the time to reflect upon the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. observance at Sgt. Smith Theater, here, Jan. 16.

The participating Soldiers embraced the “One Team” spirit at an observance and volunteer fair honoring the life and accomplishments of King.

The MLK observance was meant to honor King and allow those in attendance to reflect on the many ways they can live up to his dream.

Gen. Vincent Brooks, commander, U.S. Army-Pacific, was the guest speaker. Brooks challenged the audience with the words of King to “commit ourselves to the cause of another.” Brooks recognized that most Soldiers commit themselves to something larger every day, and he encouraged them to continue supporting the community and living the Army values.

Before Brooks stepped off the stage, he reminded everyone of the holiday’s recurring theme, “A day on, not a day off,” encouraging everyone to make a difference.

King dedicated his life to equal rights.

“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity,” King said.

Fifty-one years ago, King delivered his inspirational “I Have a Dream” speech at the base of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.

“It feels great to participate in this observance,” said Sgt. 1st Class Dawn Ramos, ceremony coordinator, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, USARPAC. “The Martin Luther King Day holiday is all about volunteerism and giving back to the community. As Soldiers, a lot of us are given unique opportunities to volunteer. I feel like I’m bridging a gap between the military and the community.”

“It’s truly an honor and a blessing helping out others. Whether it’s helping Soldiers to stay in shape with (physical readiness training), building homes or mentoring those going through Junior Reserves Officers Training Corps, it’s just awesome to give up a little bit of your time to give back to the community,” said Sgt. 1st Class Craig Prouty, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division. “You just can’t beat the feeling you get when you’re helping someone to improve.”

As Brooks pointed out, Soldiers have special abilities and talents allowing them to give more to those around them.

“Like Dr. Martin Luther King would have wanted us to, I’m grateful that I’m able to help people daily,” said Command Sgt. Maj. James Jackson, senior enlisted leader, 45th Special Troops Battalion, 45th Sustainment Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command. “It’s a great feeling to be able to help individuals through … trials.”

During the observance, Sgt. 1st Class Eric Driscoll, equal opportunity advisor, Pacific Region Medical Command, received the President’s Call to Service Award for serving more than 4,000 hours of volunteer hours throughout his lifetime, and Spc. Shakita McDonald, Human Resource specialist, 18th MEDCOM, received the bronze award for serving more than 100 hours throughout the year.

In memory of King, a volunteer fair was hosted at the event to give participants a chance to connect with community.

The MLK event doubled as a volunteer fair. King's birthday has developed into an opportunity for Americans to perform volunteer work in their communities.

The MLK event doubled as a volunteer fair. King’s birthday has developed into an opportunity for Americans to perform volunteer work in their communities.

“Living by the example set by Dr. King makes me want to help in the community,” said Ramos. “I’m going to continue to do what I can to bridge my military family with my family in the community. Volunteering our time is one of the best ways we can do that.”

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Category: News, Observances

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