REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. - Members of the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command came together Jan. 14 and filled conference room seats to commemorate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and reflect on the contributions of Dr. King to our nation and our military.

"I am proud to say as a member of the U.S. Army and the Department of Defense that I think we do a pretty good job," said Col. Kendal Cunningham, chief of staff, USASMDC/ARSTRAT. "I'm proud that every year we come together to recognize those things that Dr. King did for this country. I hope we continue to move forward in this effort. That's what this celebration is all about, to remind us of where we came from and to keep pushing forward to make it better for everyone in this country to achieve and dream those things that they set out to do, regardless of color, gender, race or religious background," he said.

After a short video presentation, Maj. Steve Johnson, operations officer, USASMDC/ARSTRAT, led the group in an adapted game of Trivial Pursuit, highlighting facts presented in the video. Participants were rewarded with candy for correctly answering historical questions about King.

Col. William Whitney, deputy director, Future Warfare Center, introduced the guest speaker, Reverend Dr. Oscar Montgomery, Union Hill Primitive Baptist Church, Huntsville, Ala., and spoke to Montgomery's extensive portfolio of credentials and community involvement.

"The thing that stands out about Dr. Montgomery is leadership. Dr. Montgomery has worked for the last 30 years to grow and lead a congregation that started with roughly less than 60 individuals to more than 900 members," Whitney said.

Montgomery took to the podium to address those present and began by reminding personnel that the eyes of the world are focused on Haiti.

"This was an earthquake that shook the poorest nation in the western hemisphere. It shook the world and many are preparing to help that nation without any questions being asked. I'd like to think that all of our thoughts are with everyone who has family there at Haiti at this time," Montgomery said. "People are flocking to social media to donate money for rescue efforts and I want to encourage each of you to consider supporting that effort. You can also donate through the American Red Cross, but I would encourage you to insist that the donation go directly to Haiti."

Montgomery went on to address the many challenges facing the nation today, but said, "We have got to want for others what we want for ourselves. We must commit ourselves to the high ideals for which Dr. King gave the ultimate sacrifice.

"We must develop a kind of dangerous unselfishness," he said. "The greatest resource that we have is human capital. We must not only turn on our headlights, but our heart lights."

Deborah.erhart@us.army.mil

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