Fort Stewart observes Hispanic Heritage Day
October 31, 2008
<b> FORT STEWART, GA </b> -- Fort Stewart celebrated Hispanic Heritage Day with authentic dancing and singing during a ceremony at Club Stewart, Oct. 23.
The motto of the event was "Getting Involved: Our Families, Our Community, Our Nation," and was hosted by 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division.
"I feel by being here and doing this, I am giving back to my people," said Chief Warrant Officer Denyi M. Johnson, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd BCT, 3ID, who was the master of the ceremony.
Johnson said that she volunteered to host the event.
The event kicked off with a slide show displaying prominent Hispanics throughout the history of the military and also those who have excelled in American music, entertainment, politics, business, sports, and literature. The show also acknowledged the 38 servicemembers of Hispanic descent who were awarded the Medal of Honor.
Dancers in traditional dress entertained the audience with dances originating from Mexico, Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Santos Domingo.
Major General Tony Cucolo, commanding general, 3ID, delivered an opening speech before introducing the guest speaker.
"It is important for military personnel to celebrate, remember, recommit to, and take pride in the uniqueness of the Hispanic Soldiers that serve or have served in the Army," said Cucolo.
Chief Warrant Officer Jose G. Negron Cruz, a retired Soldier of 44 years was the guest speaker for the ceremony.
"Hispanics need to increase their participation and leadership in the Army," he said. "There are great opportunities in leadership for us in the Army."
Negron Cruz said that Hispanic Soldiers could be an important link between America and Latin America.
After the deliverance of his speech, Negron Cruz was presented with an award by Cucolo.
The Hispanic Soldiers are extremely vital in our Army. "We are an Army of one," said Cucolo.
Johnson said that events like Hispanic Heritage Day are extremely important.
"Things like this help all Soldiers to understand the Hispanic culture; that this is our culture, not just the way we behave," she said. "Understanding the Soldier beside you in combat makes the mission that much simpler," she said.