By Mrs. Jennifer Bacchus (AMC)October 3, 2019
ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. -- The music of Jacksonville State University's Latin Jazz Ensemble filled the air as Anniston Army Depot employees entered the Berman Varner House Sept. 24 for the Hispanic Heritage Month Luncheon.
The sounds of brass instruments, piano, bongos and more set the stage for the event, making more than a few members of the crowd dance in their seats.
Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to celebrate the culture and rich history of Americans of Hispanic descent.
"Events like this are important because they show our shared heritage," said Col. Marvin Walker, Anniston Army Depot's commander. "I always learn something from them."
Between the music and the historical presentation by speaker Jesús Perez, ANAD employees were informed and entertained.
"We celebrate the common love the for the United States of American, which binds us together as the best manned and best Army in the world," he said.
Perez, a retired Army chaplain, gave some history and demographic information for Hispanics in the military.
"Our country is one of the most diverse nations in the world," said Perez, as he detailed that Hispanics encompass nearly six percent of officers in the Army, eight percent of warrant officers, 12 percent of enlisted Soldiers and six percent of the Army's civilian workforce.
"Our nation's history is full of Hispanic men and women who have answered the call to arms," said Perez.
Perez specifically mentioned the 65th Infantry Regiment from Puerto Rico and their service during the Korean Conflict.
The regiment was nicknamed "The Borinqueneers," from the original Taíno name of the island.
Three infantry battalions, one artillery battalion and a tank company were deployed to Korea in 1950. There, they were attached to the 3rd Infantry Division.
Perez detailed the battles in Korea which the 65th Infantry Regiment was part of as well as how those conflicts helped the Army grow and learn as a multi-cultural force.