ANSBACH, Germany (Oct. 17, 2013) -- Vibrant colors of beautiful dresses and the scent of tasty food welcomed the visitors of the Hispanic Heritage Observance Oct. 15 at the Von Steuben Community Center at U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach. Volunteers of all ages had practiced for weeks to perform the original dances of their home countries and prepared a buffet of food samples for the many visitors who attended the event.

Melanie Putman, a 13-year-old student at Ansbach Middle/High School, whose mother Narcy Aberg comes from Panama, said she decided to become more involved and "to share the Panamanian part" of her heritage "and its culture with other US citizens" after visiting the country several times and learning more about it.

"These observances bring every culture together with others, so we can appreciate and understand each other better, and therefore everyone can bring the most to the nation's fighting force" explained Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Mintz, the equal opportunity Adviser of the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade.

After the opening remarks of the garrison commander, Col. Christopher Benson, and the reading of the presidential proclamation on Hispanic Heritage, members of the community came forward to perform dances from their home countries Panama and Puerto Rico. Soldiers and Family members were then invited to sample from the rich buffet and admire the exhibition pieces of memorabilia from different Hispanic countries.