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Celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month

October 18, 2010 | Lieutenant General Benjamin Freakley

Each year, Americans celebrate the traditions, ancestry, unique experiences and contribution of the nearly 46 million Hispanic Americans through National Hispanic Heritage Month.

This year's theme, "Heritage, Diversity, Integrity and Honor:  The Renewed Hope of America", was particularly fitting to me as an American Soldier.  The theme corresponds directly with several of our Army's core values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage.

As an acronym, these seven core values spell LDRSHIP, or leadership. Throughout history, Hispanic Americans have demonstrated commendable leadership in our military, business, education and other avenues.

Our Army is made up of about 114,093 Soldiers of Hispanic descent, who demonstrate brilliant leadership from privates through the 3 and 4-star general ranks.  Hispanic Soldiers, like all U.S. Army Soldiers, pride themselves on being Army Strong and making a difference for themselves, their families, their communities and our Nation.

During Hispanic Heritage Month, the U.S. Army joined the nation in acknowledging and celebrating the contributions of Hispanic Soldiers and their commitment to service.

Not only during the time frame of 15 September - 15 October, but throughout the year, the Army will partner with four Hispanic organizations - the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Great Minds in STEM (GMiS), the Hispanic Association of College and Universities (HACU) and the Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) -- to support local and national programs that reflect upon the achievement of Hispanics and foster their continued success.

These partnerships are part of the Army's ongoing efforts to develop the next generation of Hispanic leaders --- leaders who are Army Strong.

They are like all of our Soldiers--the strength of the Nation.

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