Andersen AFB celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month

  • Published
  • By Airman Spencer Perkins
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs

 Members from Andersen Air Force Base, along with other service members across the Department of Defense, celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month (NHHM) Sept. 15 - Oct. 15, 2022. Throughout this 30-day period, there are many significant dates that signify Hispanic heritage.

Andersen AFB recognizes various cultural days and months throughout the year and takes a moment to honor the diversity the Airmen at the Forward Edge bring to the mission.

“Being diverse makes the military stronger,”said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Lizeth Martinez, a member of Team Andersen’s 36th Force Support Squadron.

She is proud of her Hispanic heritage and shared a little bit of her upbringing and how it’s helped her throughout her career.

Martinez grew up in Arizona, but her parents are from Villa Juarez, Durango, Mexico. Her parents would take her to visit Mexico throughout her childhood for a few weeks at a time every six months and she still continues to visit now.

“I definitely try to keep the connection to my culture,” said Martinez. “I grew up with Spanish being my first language, so I’ll speak it whenever I get the chance to, and I like cooking Mexican dishes. My favorite dishes are carne asada and arroz con leche.”

During her childhood, Martinez learned valuable life skills from her family and heritage that she applies to her life in the military now, she said.

“Seeing my parents be as hard-working as they were, motivated me to have a strong work ethic, pursue my education and set goals for myself,” said Martinez.

According to the Department of Defense, the Hispanic community makes up about 16% of active-duty personnel. Diversity is essential to the Air Force’s ultimate success in an increasingly competitive and dynamic global environment.

“We have to remember what the Hispanic community has done to help build this country as well as what we do for the military,” said Martinez.