CAMP BUEHRING, KUWAIT –
Every year the Department of Defense (DoD) joins the Nation in celebrating and honoring the cultures and contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans. This year’s theme is: “Esperanza: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope.”
On September 17, 1968, Congress passed Public Law 90-48, officially authorizing and requesting the president to issue annual proclamations declaring September 15 and 16 to mark the beginning of National Hispanic Heritage Week. President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first Hispanic Heritage Week presidential proclamation. On September 14, 1989, President George H.W. Bush became the first president to declare the 31-day period from September 15 to October 15 as National Hispanic Heritage Month.
September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively.
Today, thousands of Hispanic-American Service Members throughout the world are protecting our nation. Just as in generations past, we honor our Hispanic community—military and civilian—for their significant contributions to (or toward) protecting the United States and embodying the DoD values that unite us all as one team.
The 111th Theater Engineer Brigade is excited to recognize a Hispanic-American Soldier who serves in our ranks and is a prime example of one who embodies the DoD and Army values. Learn more about Sgt. 1st Class Glilberto Camacho, a Soldier in the 604th FEST-A, 111th Engineer Brigade, below:
Q: What does it mean to you to identify as having Hispanic heritage?
A: Every culture would love to have a way to celebrate their heritage such as Hispanic Heritage Month. As a Hispanic coming to a different culture where the native language is different, it helps with communication to know multiple ways to speak and interact. Raising cultural awareness is something I’m very happy with and will always take pride in.
Q: How does the Army do with raising awareness about different cultures?
A: That’s a great question. I feel like the Army is doing a great job at raising awareness because we see many observances such as Black History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, Asian American Pacific Islander Month, and many more.
Q: Do you plan on doing anything to celebrate Hispanic Heritage month?
A: I celebrate my heritage every day. Every time you do a little bit it makes a big difference. I was able to fly the Puerto Rican flag during this month not even knowing that it was Hispanic Heritage month. It meant a lot to me to have that flag flying because everyone on base can see it and that fills me with pride to be able to represent my culture in such a prominent way.