Goodfellow hosts National Hispanic Heritage Month panel

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Tyrell Hall
  • 17th Training Wing Public Affairs

Each year, Americans observe Hispanic Heritage Month from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. During the month, people acknowledge and celebrate the contributions of Hispanic ancestry.

The event focused on the diversity, experiences, achievements, and contributions of Hispanic service members. Members socialized, discussed authentic Hispanic culture, and participated in a Q&A with the guest speakers.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Marla Edwards, 315th Training Squadron instructor, spoke on her experiences and inspirations as a Hispanic service member. She also highlighted how her upbringing in a low-income household shaped her drive for pursuing a military career and master’s degree in homeland security.

“I’ve been able to see the world more now than I would if I never joined the military,” said Edwards. “I’ve been able to help so many people from so many countries.”

The event also featured a photo gallery depicting Hispanic service members and their achievements during their military careers. Such as U.S. Army Pvt. Marcelino Serna, who was the first Mexican-American awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, which is the second-highest military honor for extraordinary heroism that can be awarded to Army members. 

He was later posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

“There is a profound and prominent influence by the Hispanic community here,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Matthew Reilman, 17th Training Wing commander. “The impact they have cannot be understated. This is a good opportunity to come together and talk about who we are as one team.”