• Elijah Howard stood on a step stool to reach the podium as he addressed the Soldiers of the 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) during the unit's Black History Month observance at Fort Hood's Howze Theater Feb. 26. Elijah talked about successful local businessmen who inspire him. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Amy M. Lane)

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    Elijah Howard stood on a step stool to reach the podium as he addressed the Soldiers of the 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) during the unit's Black History Month observance at Fort Hood's Howze Theater Feb. 26. Elijah...

  • Lt. Col. John Hickey, commander of the 4th Brigade Troops Battalion, stands at attention and watches Sgt. Iran Frazier sing the National Anthem at the 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Black History Month observance at Fort Hood's Howze Theater Feb. 26. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Sean McGuire)

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    Lt. Col. John Hickey, commander of the 4th Brigade Troops Battalion, stands at attention and watches Sgt. Iran Frazier sing the National Anthem at the 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Black History Month observance at...

  • Sgt. Iran Frazier, 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), sings the National Anthem at a Black History Month observance at Fort Hood's Howze Theater Feb. 26. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Sean McGuire)

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    Sgt. Iran Frazier, 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), sings the National Anthem at a Black History Month observance at Fort Hood's Howze Theater Feb. 26. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Sean McGuire)

  • Soldiers of the 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) perform a skit depicting important figures in black history at a Black History Month observance at Fort Hood's Howze Theater Feb. 26. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Sean McGuire)

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    Soldiers of the 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) perform a skit depicting important figures in black history at a Black History Month observance at Fort Hood's Howze Theater Feb. 26. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Sean...

  • Soldiers of the 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) filled Fort Hood's Howze Theater Feb. 26 to watch the Black History Month observance. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Sean McGuire)

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    Soldiers of the 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) filled Fort Hood's Howze Theater Feb. 26 to watch the Black History Month observance. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Sean McGuire)

  • A Soldier from the 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) performs in a skit depicting Jackie Robinson, the first African American to play in Major League Baseball in 1947, during the unit's Black History Month observance at Fort Hood's Howze Theater Feb. 26. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Sean McGuire)

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    A Soldier from the 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) performs in a skit depicting Jackie Robinson, the first African American to play in Major League Baseball in 1947, during the unit's Black History Month observance at...

  • A Soldier from the 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) performs in a skit depicting important figures in black history during the unit's Black History Month observance at Fort Hood's Howze Theater Feb. 26. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Amy M. Lane)

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    A Soldier from the 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) performs in a skit depicting important figures in black history during the unit's Black History Month observance at Fort Hood's Howze Theater Feb. 26. (U.S. Army photo...

FORT HOOD, Texas - The theme of this year's Black History Month celebration was the history of black economic empowerment, and the guest speaker was 12-year-old Elijah Howard, the president of Killeen's Youth NAACP.

Elijah addressed the Soldiers of the 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) during the unit's Black History Month observance at Howze Theater Feb. 26.

The show included brief skits, a recounting of the history of black economic empowerment, and Elijah, who was the star of the show.

During a brief delay before the guest speaker arrived, Maj. Jerry Seig, the Wrangler Brigade chaplain, gave an impromptu speech. He talked about growing up in an all-white town in Pennsylvania and after joining the Army 1981, working with people of different races for the first time.

"I learned to look at somebody for their character and not for what you see on the outside," Seig said. "The Army is the best place for that. This is where people from all backgrounds and all walks of life come together to work alongside one another."

Elijah was calm and confident as he captivated the audience.

"Black economic empowerment. I bet some of you think I don't know what that means, huh' Well, after discussing with some people in our community, I know we need to make our money work for us instead of us working for our money," said Elijah.

He kept the crowd laughing with tales of his money-making schemes, but he also shared the lessons that he learned from those efforts.

"It's important for us to not only think about what we want to improve in our economic condition, but we also need to remember to work for what we want," Elijah said.

Elijah closed his speech by reminding the audience to be persistent in achieving goals, and never to lose sight of what they want. After he spoke, he was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation from the Wrangler Family for his efforts.

"We are all part of history," he said. "We all have the potential to be in the Fortune 500. And when we reach every goal, I ask that each of us remember to reach back and teach someone else how to get to that same spot."

Page last updated Tue March 2nd, 2010 at 23:56