Sustainment Soldiers honor black history month

By Staff Sgt. Rob Strain
15th Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs

FORT HOOD, Texas — Hundreds of Soldiers from the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) gathered Feb. 9 at Club Hood to honor black history month with a special prayer breakfast.

The event’s theme was “The Audacity of Hope, the Resilience of a Nation” and featured several Soldiers sharing the stories of some of the lesser-known personalities in the civil rights movement.

Portraying people like Satchel Paige, a Negro League baseball player; the writer and publisher Harriet Beecher Stowe; and Brig. Gen. Benjamin Davis, the Army’s first African-American general, Soldiers of the 15th Sustainment Brigade’s 180th Transportation Battalion told how each one of these people worked to make a difference in history.

According to Maj. Derrick Corbett, the battalion’s deputy commander, February was chosen as black history month because the 13th Amendment to the Constitution was proposed on Jan. 31, 1865, but word did not reach the slaves until February.

Corbett explained that in 1926, a weeklong celebration was started to honor the births of former president Abraham Lincoln and abolitionist and former slave Frederick Douglass. Later, the whole month became dedicated to the remembrance.

The event’s guest speaker was Connie Green, Killeen’s city manager, who said he learned a lot about black history during the morning’s presentation.

Speaking about the theme of “The Audacity of Hope, the Resilience of a Nation,” Green said the words audacity and hope have two very different, yet special meanings.

“Hope is the feeling that what is wanted can be had, or that events will turn out for the best,” Green said.

He explained that hope is an emotional state that leads to optimism and a positive attitude, while audacity has a very different meaning.

“To be reckless, adventuresome, to display bold disregard of normal circumstances,” Green said.

The history of African-American people is well defined by hope and audacity, he said.

“We today are very fortunate, that in the year 2009, we are living in a time and an age where the dream is becoming a reality,” Green said. “The vision of an America where all men are guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is no longer a dream.”


Pvt. Boe Isaak (photo)
Pvt. Boe Isaak, with the 297th Transportation Company, 180th Transportation Company, 15th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), recalls the life of Satchel Paige, a Negro League baseball player who went on to become a Major League Baseball player, during the battalion's black history month celebration Feb. 9 at Club Hood. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Rob Strain, 15th Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs)