News: Hispanic Heritage Month brings Fort Stewart soldiers together
Story by Sgt. Kiera Anderson
FORT STEWART, Ga.— The 3rd Sustainment Brigade, Third Infantry Division hosted Fort Stewart’s Hispanic Heritage Month Observance at Club Stewart, Oct. 3. Soldiers from all over the installation were in attendance, filling the seats and lining the walls as they gathered to show understanding and appreciation for the cultural differences of their fellow Americans.
Capt. Lelys Miller, chaplain of 87th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 3rd Sustainment Brigade, performed the invocation and closed with a brief prayer in Spanish. Band Grupo Son Del Coquoi accompanied singer Orgullo Panameno before Hispanic Heritage Dance Group, Raices Peruana, and Baile Tradicion Latina peformed traditional dances for the audience.
The separate dance groups showed the variances in physical expression of Hispanic music, in the costuming and even the hue of the performers themselves.
Guest speaker Veronikha Salazar, Armstrong Atlantic State University’s Hispanic Outreach and Retention Program Coordinator, took time away from her duties providing support to first and second year Latino students to share humorous insights, as well as her wishes for the assembled audience.
“The theme for this year’s celebration is diversity united, building America’s future today,” said Salazar. “Share your culture. Share your food. Share your music. Share your language. It’s never too late to learn something new. If we want to build America’s future, we have to start today.”
Proceedings ended with Col. Ron Novack and Command Sgt. Maj. Forbes Daniels presenting the performers and guest speaker with plaques for taking the time to share a piece of their culture with the Soldiers in attendance.
Sgt. 1st Class Derrick Clarke, operations specialist for 87th CSSB was a part of the committee that put the event together and handles all monthly observances for the unit.
“It was a lot of hard work, maybe from five to six hours worth every day since July,” said Clarke, who mirrored Salazar’s hopes and aspirations for the observance and believes all of the hard work paid off. “It was a really good turn out. The main goal is to show appreciation for other cultures and foster cohesion and equal opportunities”