Alcira Etienne performs a traditional Panamanian dance at the 2015 National Hispanic Heritage Month observance at the San Antonio Military Medical Center medical mall Oct. 14 sponsored by the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research and the Brooke Army Medical Center Equal Opportunity teams at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Photo by Steven Galvan
By Steven Galvan, Public Affairs Officer
U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research
22 OCTOBER 2015
The U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research and the Brooke Army Medical Center Equal Opportunity teams at Fort Sam Houston, Texas combined efforts to host the 2015 National Hispanic Heritage Month observance at the San Antonio Military Medical Center medical mall Oct. 14. The annual national observance is held from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 with this year’s theme being “Hispanic Americans: Energizing Our Nation’s Diversity.”
To kick-off the ceremony, Capt. Jose Juarez, USAISR Company Commander read the city proclamation presented by San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month. After the reading of the proclamation, Col. (Dr.) Michael D. Wirt, USAISR Commander made some opening remarks and welcomed the guests to the observance.
“This year’s theme truly reflects the long and important role that Hispanic Americans have contributed to our country’s rich culture and proud heritage,” Wirt said. “One of our country’s greatest strengths has always been our diversity. As we take time today to observe National Hispanic Heritage Month, I ask that you take time to reflect on the contributions that Hispanic Americans have made into making the United States a great nation.”
During the ceremony, attendees were treated to mariachi music performed by Mariachi International Monarca; a traditional Panamanian dance by Alcira Etienne; and a performance by Noche Kandela who sang Salsa and Merengue songs. The audience also heard remarks from guest speaker Alexander “Alex” Briseño, a former Army captain and chief executive officer of San Antonio from 1990 to 2001. Briseño spoke of the many contributions that Hispanic Americans have made in shaping the military, economy and the United States.
“Hispanic Americans have come a long way,” said Briseño. “We’re a growing part of the population and we still have some challenges to address for all of us to succeed in the future.”
The ceremony concluded with a sampling of some popular Hispanic food from around the world.
“This was a great observance,” said Sgt. Maj. James Devine, USAISR senior enlisted leader. “The EO teams did a remarkable job in coordinating it and highlighting the contributions that Hispanic Americans have made to our diverse nation.”