ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --
Hispanics have had a great influence on the U.S. through their strong commitment to family, faith, hard work and service.
The term Hispanic or Latino, refers to Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race.
The National Hispanic Heritage Observance originally started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson. It was later expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting Sept. 15 and ending Oct. 15.
Robins will kick off its celebration of Hispanic culture at the Base Exchange on Sept. 16 at 11:30 a.m., with opening remarks from 78th Air Base Wing leadership.
A panel discussion focused on the month’s theme, “Hispanic Americans: A History of Serving Our Nation,” will take place Sept 24 at 11:30 a.m. at the Heritage Club. Panelists will feature Col. John Andrade, chief of Global Power and Vigilance Division in the Air Force Reserve Command; Lt. Col. Daniel Moreno, chief of Logistics Readiness Branch for AFRC A4; Master Sgt. Ruben Torres, first sergeant for the 51st Combat Communications Squadron; and Tech. Sgt. Yvette Martinez, 78th Medical Group Family Health Clinic Flight Chief.
Ed Armijo, chief of 404th Supply Chain Management Squadron’s Air Force Systems Management, and chairman of the 2019 Robins Hispanic Heritage Observance, said it’s important to share with others the rich diverse Hispanic culture and traditions.
One such Hispanic American who served his country well was Lt. Gen. Leo Marquez. He retired as the deputy chief of staff for logistics and engineering at Air Force headquarters in Washington, D.C. in 1987. Marquez’s military decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with an oak leaf cluster and the Bronze Star.
There is now an award named after General Marquez that is presented to Air Force maintainers who have demonstrated the highest degree of sustained job performance, job knowledge, job efficiency and results in the categories of aircraft, munitions and missile, and communications-electronics maintenance.
Today, 57.5 million people or 18% of the American population are of Hispanic or Latino origin.
For more information on this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month events, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.