FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (Oct. 20, 2009) - Soldiers, dancers, children and the local community joined forces here Oct. 15 to celebrate Hispanic Heritage month.

U.S. Army South proudly joined the rest of the nation in honoring Hispanic Heritage Month, which celebrates the rich cultural heritage of Hispanic contributions in a month-long tribute. This year's Department of Defense theme is "Embracing the fierce urgency of now."

"Hispanics have come a long way," said Staff Sgt. Esmeralda
Hernandez, with Army South Special Troops Battalion. "It is important to share our different cultures. Everyone thinks we are all the same with the same culture. It's fun to tell everyone what we are about."

U.S. Army South hosted numerous events throughout the month,
culminating with the extravaganza on Fort Sam Houston. The event included a salsa dance performance by Soldiers from both Army South's 470th Military Intelligence Brigade and Brooke Army Medical Center. After the salsa dance, the dancers held dance lessons for the extravaganza attendees. Meanwhile, local vendors such as the mexican restaurant, El Maracumbe and Yolanda's Cakes provided food for the event.

"It's important to educate others on different cultures," said Sgt. First Class Matthew Crown, an Equal Employment Opportunity advisor with Southern Regional Medical Command who was handing out
tamales at the event. "It allows others to gain an appreciation for other cultures."
The event cumulated with an awards presentation by the Army Recruiting Command to the Hispanic Heritage essay winners from the Fort Sam Houston's Cole Middle and High schools. The students were asked to write an essay explaining the contributions Hispanics have made to America's history. The winners were:

6th Grade:
First place: Mayceo Wilson
Second Place: Ryan Stankiewicy
Third place: Andriana J. Ibanez deLeon

7th Grade:
First place: Brandon McClellan

8th Grade:
First place: Isabelle Lougee

9th Grade:
First place: Jamie Douglas
Second place: Rashad White
Third place: Andrew Guerrero



10th Grade:
First place: Cheyenne Havel
Second place: Amanda Gonzales
Third place: Michael Scott

11th Grade:
First place: Tony Gonzalez
Second place: Rachelle Green
Third place: Ashley Erickson

12th Grade:
First place: Cristal Long

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16