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Hispanic heritage: Event kicks off month with music, dancing, food

Soldiers hand out food at the Hispanic Heritage Month kickoff event Sept. 12 at the AAFES Food Court. (Photo by Jay Mann)

Soldiers hand out food at the Hispanic Heritage Month kickoff event Sept. 12 at the AAFES Food Court. (Photo by Jay Mann)

Published: September 18, 2014

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (September 18, 2014) -- The Hispanic Heritage Month observance kicked off at the Army and Air Force Exchange Service Food Court Sept 12. with music, dancing and, of course … food.

“Food, like language, is a very, very important and integral part of culture,” said Sgt. 1st Class Jason Garcia, equal opportunity adviser for 1st Aviation Brigade, “It’s the beauty of the Family that we are bringing and sharing with the community.”

But it was not just food being shared at this year’s kickoff event, the 98th Army “Silver Wings” Band’s Sabor Tropical played a collection of Latin tunes ranging in style from Salsa and Merengue, to Cumbia. “This is great for the community,” said Sgt. 1st Class Marco Delacruz, Sabor Tropical NCOIC. “The Army is made up of so many different cultures and events like this remind us that everyone has a background that they come from.”

The celebration also brought out students from Harrand Creek and Rucker Boulevard elementary schools to perform a medley of Latin songs.

“This month we are celebrating the heritage of so many of our students and community members in the Wiregrass,” said Hilda Hagins, Harrand Creek and Rucker Boulevard music teacher. “We are honored to be invited to share in this celebration of such a beautiful culture.”

The students performed four songs in Spanish, including “En la Feria de San Juan,” a song about the marketplace in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

“The Army is very diverse culturally. Without that diversity, the Army would not work the way it does. People learn different things in different cultures, because what works in one culture might be able to work for everybody,” said Sgt. 1st Class Bryon Brown, Fort Rucker Garrison and tenant unit equal opportunity adviser.

Other events throughout the month will be a story-time reading at the library Sept. 19, bowling tournament and trivia contest at Rucker Lanes Sept. 26, the Gate-to-Gate Run Sept. 27, and Salsa Night at Divots at the Silver Wings Golf Course Oct 3.

“Salsa night will be the capstone event of the month and I’m really excited about it,” said Garcia. “There will be a D.J., Latin American and Hispanic Music, and dancing. People who do know how to dance will be showing people who don’t know how to dance, how to dance.”

This article was originally published at

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