King's dream begins in heart
January 30, 2014
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (Jan. 30, 2014) -- Almost 400 people remained fixed on the words of the Mission and Installation Contracting Command's chief counsel whose own personal struggles to overcome hardships of neglectful and abusive foster care and homelessness set the context of hope during the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Observance here Jan. 29.
Col. James Lewis shared his story of perseverance as guest speaker for the ceremony hosted by the U.S. Army Dental Command and organized by equal opportunity advisers at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston.
Lewis said the impacts of King and other events early in the civil rights movement helped shape the course of his own personal actions but added that the nation has not yet fully achieved King's dream of equality.
After recounting challenges faced by the nation in 1964, the year of his birth, Lewis next offered that "what we must today overcome is ourselves. We are our greatest obstacles to racial equality and peace, and the major battleground is now being waged within our own hearts. What lies there are our fears, our prejudices and our comfort zones." He added, "To overcome these, we must first and foremost acknowledge that the dream of racial equality is really more than just a dream. We have to believe that it can be a reality."
Just as King believed, the MICC chief counsel said the promise of change lies within the hearts of all Americans. Lewis added that this hope is not far removed from the core values for which uniformed and federal employees already stand.
"We change our hearts, and we change our nation. Just like … 'one team, one fight.' It means that everyone works together to accomplish a common goal. Everyone is part of the team and has a specific role to play; everyone's unique strengths and perspectives are respected and welcomed at the table for the good of the whole," Lewis said. "We pull together. And when all hell breaks loose and we're called upon to do so, we fight together. But we leave no one out -- we leave no one behind. No one is abandoned to the margins of society. I have faith that America can realize its promise to every American."