15th SB celebrates Hispanic Heritage month

Story and Photos by Sgt. Matthew C. Cooley
15th Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs

FORT HOOD, Texas — Soldiers of 15th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), celebrated Hispanic Heritage month with an event including singing, dancing, a guest speaker, and food at the Clear Creek Community Events Center here, Oct. 15.

The annual Hispanic Heritage month celebration began in 1988 to commemorate the achievements and culture of Spanish-speaking people in the U.S. and is observed from Sept. 15 – Oct. 15.

This year, the event’s theme was “Getting Involved: Our Families, Our Community, Our Nation.”

Lillian Lewis, a ballroom dance instructor, and her husband Michael Lewis showed the Soldiers in attendance some Hispanic culture with their display of the Hispanic dances the rumba and cha-cha.

Spc. Mercedes Stripling, an 81st Adjutant General (Postal) postal clerk performed the Hispanic folk song Nino-Presisio.

After the performances, a few Soldiers won raffle prizes before the guest speaker was introduced.

Command Sgt. Maj. Fernando Rodriguez-Ramos, the III Corps Noncommissioned Officers Academy commandant and Isabela, Puerto Rico, native, was the event’s primary speaker.

Rodriguez said he didn’t want to give the audience a history lesson or series of statistics. Instead he wanted to talk about what Hispanics can do for their country and communities.

“We have not come far enough. We have so much more to give,” he said.

One out of every seven Americans is Hispanic, according to Rodriguez, which could be considered a significant percentage.

“Our responsibility is huge … the contribution that we should be [making] for this country should be commensurate with that number,” he explained.

Rodriguez encouraged Hispanics and everyone else to better themselves and pursue higher education. 
Rodriguez is expected to receive a master’s degree Dec. 12 and one of his sons is scheduled to graduate with a bachelor’s degree Dec. 13.

“I beat him by a day,” he jokingly gloated.

Col. Larry Phelps, 15th SB commander, said he didn’t know what the unit would do for Hispanic Heritage month next year, as this year’s event was “exactly right.”

“Everyday we try to get a little bit better in the 15th.  That’s our motto, that’s the mantra.”

 


Lillian Lewis, a ballroom dance instructor, and her husband Michael Lewis demonstrate the cha-cha for a 15th Sustainment Brigade Hispanic Heritage month observance at the Clear Creek Community Events Center here Oct. 15. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Matthew C. Cooley, 15th Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs)


Lillian Lewis, a ballroom dance instructor, and her husband Michael Lewis demonstrate the cha-cha for a 15th Sustainment Brigade Hispanic Heritage month observance at the Clear Creek Community Events Center here Oct. 15. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Matthew C. Cooley, 15th Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs)