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Stories of Values: DHA Honors the Service of Hispanic Americans

Image of During Hispanic Heritage Month the DHA honored the Hispanic Americans who serve our nation with an observance called, “Values that Strengthen the Union.”. During Hispanic Heritage Month the DHA honored the Hispanic Americans who serve our nation with an observance called, “Values that Strengthen the Union.” (Courtesy photo)

“National Hispanic Heritage Month is an important reminder of how much strength we draw as a Nation from our immigrant roots and our values as a Nation of immigrants.”

On the same day that President Joseph Biden made these remarks in his presidential proclamation for Hispanic Heritage Month, the Defense Health Agency celebrated the service of Hispanic Americans with a panel discussion on the cultural values that Hispanic Americans contribute to our national culture.

The event gave military and civilian members of the Hispanic American community an opportunity to share stories of cultural pride, and their perspectives on the importance of cultural values for both their personal growth and that of our nation.

The theme of the event was -- Values that Strengthen the Union.    

One Nation, Many Cultures

One important value that the panelists discussed taking pride in was having a multi-cultural, multi-lingual family heritage. 

Daniel Suarez, deputy inspector general of the DHA said, “The fact that my grandmother instilled in me the need to learn Spanish [in addition to English] is fantastic. I think having that dual identity is fantastic,”

He continued, “I really hope that others growing up in this nation continue to adopt their [multi-cultural] heritage.”   

Air Force Staff Sgt. Yesenia Fewson, non-commissioned officer-in-charge of cybersecurity at Keesler Air Force in Mississippi, added that being able to hold on to each of her family traditions, “motivates me to continue going forward.”

Family Values: Respect and Integrity

When asked about how their multi-cultural heritages have contributed to their personal successes in life, the panelists spoke about the importance of having strong family values. It was from their families, they stated, that they learned the importance of respecting others and completing their individual missions, no matter how small, with full integrity. 

“Integrity and respect are important values that my family instilled in me,” Suarez remarked.

“Family, in the Hispanic culture embodies respect for family, especially respect for elders. Loyalty is also a big thing that I learned in the Hispanic culture,” added Martha Santana, financial program manager with the DHA. “It doesn’t matter what the job is,” Fewson mentioned regarding integrity, “but being able to give it your one-hundred percent is very important.”

A Diverse Culture that Strengthens the Union

Speaking about the cultural values that strengthen our nation, the panelists agreed that one of the most important values is its diversity.

Suarez stated, “We are fortunate that as Americans - we are diverse”.

“We have a rich diversity, and I think every single culture brings something to the table that makes America a highly respected country,” added Suarez. 

Santana added, “I think all of our cultures have helped make the United States what it is today.”

The term “Hispanic American” represents a highly diverse group of individuals, each of whom offers something unique and truly valuable to the culture of our nation.

The celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month reminds us that cultural diversity is one value that makes our union stronger. When everyone contributes to our nation’s cultural fabric the values through his or her cultural traditions and customs, we build a stronger, more prosperous nation.

Last Updated: July 11, 2023
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