AUSTIN, Texas — Army Futures Command (AFC) held a special celebration on Sept. 20 to acknowledge Hispanic Heritage Month and provide an overview of some of the Latin American countries that command personnel are proud to represent.
“I’m a very proud Mexican American. I am a DoD Army Civilian, proud of my Mexican culture and proud of my family,” said Patricia Rivera, a member of AFC’s Human Capital Directorate. Rivera went on to speak about her lineage and appreciation for the Mexican culture, as well as her father’s 30 years of service in the U.S. Army.
Additional staff members highlighted the unique traditions, cuisines, geography and cultural and economic contributions of Colombia, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.
The educational event, which took place at AFC headquarters in Austin, included remarks from Deputy Commanding General Lt. Gen. D. Scott McKean, whose family originated from El Salvador.
McKean extolled the commitment and passion that many immigrant families exhibit in making their home in a new country. He described how his father worked in janitorial jobs for many years, always placing his family at the heart of his efforts and taking pride in a job well done.
“He did have pride, and he was proud to be an American,” McKean said.
McKean also spoke to the tenacity of those who start off with very little and are able to carve a path ahead for themselves — including his own mother, who came to the U.S. as an adult speaking no English.
“My mom’s first meal in the United States was a tomato and a bottle of Coca Cola,” McKean said, reflecting on his family’s humble beginnings.
Despite having no formal business training, McKean’s mother went on to work for a large company, ultimately serving in a senior director position.
“It was about earning your lot,” McKean said of his family’s and community’s work ethic.
AFC’s Hispanic Heritage Month also included musical and culinary offerings, opening with a performance by the Harlandale High School Mariachi Band of San Antonio and concluding with a sampling of traditional cuisines from Spanish-speaking countries.
“Here in Texas, we are grateful to be all around this culture,” McKean said.