News: Hispanic Heritage Month celebrated by NAVELSG sailors
Story by Chief Petty Officer Edward Kessler
WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support Group (NAVELSG) Diversity Committee presented a Hispanic Heritage Month celebration Oct. 3, highlighting the contributions of Hispanics throughout the history of the U.S. Navy.
The event was held as part of the nationally recognized Hispanic Heritage Month, which is observed from Sept. 15 through Oct 15.
“We always hear about the food and the music,” Capt. Eddie Montero, supply officer for Commander Naval Reserve Forces Command. “However, we are not as different as you think we are.”
Highlighting the achievements and progress of Hispanics in the military, Montero also shared his family’s personal stories and experiences from when they immigrated to the United States from Cuba.
“We are more similar than anything else,” said Montero. “My parents wanted the same thing for their children that we all want and more for our children.”
Today, more than 58,000 Hispanic active duty and Reserve sailors and 40,731 Hispanic Marines serve the nation. Of those nearly 100,000 service members, seven are flag or general officers and 230 have earned the rank of master chief or sergeant major.
“It is important that we celebrate and recognize our diversity” said Information Systems Technician 3rd Class Billy Kersey. “It informs us how other people live, and how they work together and make us more aware of what we can accomplish together.”
Generations of Hispanics are recognized for shaping and strengthening the nation.
As a tribute, the Navy has named 12 warships in honor of Navy and Marine Corps Hispanic-American heroes, to include USS Farragut (DDG 99) and USS Gonzalez (DDG 66).
At the conclusion of the ceremony, members partook of traditional Hispanic food provided by staff members.
“Celebrations are not only a time to remember, but also an opportunity to educate other cultures,” said Logistics Specialist 1st Sean Falahchay. “It's an honor to respect other people's culture and what better place to do that than the military.”
NAVELSG is home-ported in Williamsburg, Va., with an active battalion located at Cheatham Annex, and with forward-deployed detachments and reserve battalions located across the United States.
NAVELSG provides sailors with the knowledge and skills needed to support the fleet's surface and air-handling mission.
More than 100 sailors and civilians work hand-in-hand with the fleet and are dedicated to ensuring training is current and well-executed on behalf of 3,500 active duty and Reserve sailors in the administration, logistics and training of their active and Reserve components.