Sea Dragons celebrate Hispanic Heritage

| October 17, 2014 | 0 Comments
Spc. Chastoni E Jones, 94th AAMDC Esparanza (Pini) Duverney performs a traditional Mexican  dance, Oct. 9, at the 94th AAMDC’s Hispanic Heritage observance.

Spc. Chastoni E Jones, 94th AAMDC
Esparanza (Pini) Duverney performs a traditional Mexican dance, Oct. 9, at the 94th AAMDC’s Hispanic Heritage observance.

Sgt. Kimberly K. Menzies
94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command Public Affairs

FORT SHAFTER — The 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command hosted a Hispanic Heritage Observance ceremony, Friday.

The event, held at the Exchange, here, was an accumulation of several parts of Hispanic culture.

The theme for 2014 is “Hispanics: A Legacy of History, a Present of Action and a Future of Success.”

The celebration provided a well-rounded atmosphere of community and fellowship and proved to be an occasion to couple education and opportunity.

“This theme resonates with me personally, because it encompasses my family’s personal story, as well as the stories of many others of Hispanic origin here in the United States Army,” said guest speaker Lt. Col. Alberto Rodriguez Cruz, operations deputy assistant chief of staff, 8th Theater Sustainment Command. “I joined the Army in search of the American dream.”

Born in Caguas, Puerto Rico, Rodriguez is a graduate from both the InterAmerican University of Puerto Rico and Bowie State University, Maryland.

“The theme calls not only for the recognition of the contributions Hispanics have given to our nation, but for the appreciation and respect of the individuals who have unconditionally championed these,” said Rodriguez. “This celebration remembers Hispanics who have served in so many capacities as members of the armed forces defending American liberties, as teachers and mentors in schools and in communities, as police officers and first responders. Some boost America’s economy as business owners and operators, and there are also those who serve on the Supreme Court and in the halls of Congress,” said Rodriguez. “Hispanics continue to serve in these roles every day, making a mark on this great nation of ours.

“The Hispanic culture is embedded in the history of the United States,” he continued. “As members of the armed forces, heroic Hispanic men and women have also fought and died to defend the liberties and security of the United States in every war since the American Revolution, many serving before becoming American citizens.”

With samplings of Hispanic foods, dance, music and information displays, attendees were welcomed with a sense of fellowship and provided a chance to learn about Hispanic culture.

“It was pretty cool,” said Pvt. Nkosi Da Costa, unit supply clerk, 94th AAMDC. “I learned new things about the culture, and I found the history very interesting, especially reading about the Medal of Honor recipients. With the music and stuff, I definitely felt the spirit of the heritage.”

“This celebration was a way for people to share a unique culture and history,” said Debbie Frey, attendee and the spouse of a Soldier. “We all have something to offer. We may look different, but we all want to make the Army and our country better.”

“It is opportunity that has brought us here today, and it is opportunity that will take us where we need to be tomorrow, but when opportunity arises, we must be ready for it,” said Rodriguez. “Education, when coupled with opportunity, is certainly the key to success.”

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Category: News, Observances

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