By Skip Vaughn, AMCOMOctober 23, 2008
Two personal stories were told in different ways during Team Redstone's Hispanic American Heritage Program on Oct. 14 at Bob Jones Auditorium.
Nancy Archuleta used her words. Nestor Torres used his music.
Archuleta described how she was a young mother in an abusive relationship who returned to school, got her high school diploma, went on to college and became a successful businesswoman. She was founder and president of MEVATEC Corporation, which was acquired by BAE Systems in 2003 for $82 million.
"You can make a difference," Archuleta, a native of Las Cruces, N.M., said. "And you should look around you and ask yourself how can I make a difference'"
Torres, a Latin Grammy Award winning flutist and motivational speaker, inspired the audience through his songs.
"This is my weapon," Torres said while raising his flute. "And I aim at the heart and I aim at people's humanity."
Born in Puerto Rico, Torres took up the flute at age 12 and later went to New York where he studied jazz and classical music. In 1981 he moved to Miami where he continued to develop his unique sound. In 2001 he won a Latin Grammy for his CD "This Side of Paradise."
"The value that we have as a nation can only be carried out by each and every one of us individually," Torres said.
Maj. Gen. Jim Myles, commander of the Aviation and Missile Command and Redstone Arsenal, delivered opening remarks and presented awards to both keynote speakers.
"This is about individual freedoms," Myles said. "This is about pursuit of happiness."
The theme for this year's Hispanic American Heritage training awareness program was, "Getting Involved: Our Families, Our Community, Our Nation."
In support of Hispanic American Heritage Month, Team Redstone sponsored an essay writing contest and a static display contest. The essay winners were: first place, Sgt. 1st Class Alexander Bryant of 59th Ordnance Brigade; second, K.C. Bertling of the Program Executive Office for Missiles and Space; and third, Dorman Chasteen of PEO Missiles and Space. The display winners were: first place, PEO Missiles and Space; second, NCO Academy; and third, HHC 59th.