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News | Oct. 14, 2014

Joint Task Force-Bravo celebrates diversity with Hispanic Heritage Month

By Tech. Sgt. Heather Redman Joint Task Force Bravo Public Affairs

The United States celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month every year from Sept. 15 thru Oct. 15 and each year the military honors and recognizes the contributions of Hispanic-American men and women to our Nation's security.

Hispanic Heritage Month was started by in 1968 President Lyndon Johnson as a weeklong celebration of Hispanic Heritage.  It was later expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 and now covers a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15.

"It is appropriate that this month was chosen as Hispanic Heritage Month because many Latin American Countries claimed their independence during this time frame," said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Matthew Contreras, deputy commander of Joint Task Force-Bravo.

Hispanic Americans represent an array of distinct and vibrant cultures, each of which enriches communities in valuable ways. Hispanics have had a profound and positive influence on our country through their strong commitment to family, faith, hard work, and service.

Joint Task Force-Bravo has the distinct pleasure of being immersed and operating within the culture of Latin America.

"We're here to celebrate the rich Hispanic culture that is seen throughout the Americas and to pay our respects to the men and women with Hispanic backgrounds who have served throughout the years," added Contreras.

This year JTF-Bravo celebrated with performances from the Honduran Navy Band stationed in Tegucigalpa,  the official folk dance group from the Escuela Normal Centro América, as well as a couple of performers  from the Dilcia Mejia Dance School.

"I am specially honored to be an Equal Opportunity Leader and the one to set up the Hispanic Heritage Month Observation. Being of Hispanic descent, I'm so glad I was in charge of making sure this event took place. It was definitely a hard task to complete, but I'm so glad it went well and was a success. The Hispanic culture contribution in the military is a great one," said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Julie G. Wallace-Myles, Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge of Operations for the Armed Forces Network. "It's what shapes me and I'm glad I was able to share it with the Soto Cano community. I love cultures and different backgrounds; we're a melting pot and grow together because of our differences."