Hispanic Marines remember ethnic heritage
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  1. #1

    Cool Hispanic Marines remember ethnic heritage

    Hispanic Marines remember ethnic heritage
    Submitted by: MCB Camp Lejeune
    Story Identification Number: 200310215420
    Story by Cpl. G. Lane Miley

    CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C.(Oct. 2, 2003) -- National Hispanic Heritage Month, a time to reflect on the culture and achievements of people with Hispanic heritage, began Sept. 15.

    According to the 2003 Marines Almanac, there are currently more than 22,000 Hispanic enlisted Marines many of whom work and train here.

    Sergeant Maj. Jorge F. Sosa, acting sergeant major for 2nd Force Service Support Group, said the Hispanic community in the Marine Corps has increased in recent years and continues to play an important role in worldwide operations.

    The Bogotá, Colombia, native, recently returned from a deployment to Kuwait where he served as the sergeant major for 2nd Transportation Support Battalion. He was one of many Hispanic Marines deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Sosa said some deployed Hispanics were not U.S. citizens at the time and many of them put their lives on the line for this country.

    Many of those who did risk their lives were recognized for their dedication. According to a Washington Post, article President George W. Bush attended a ceremony as Master Gunnery Sgt. Guadalupe Denogean and Lance Cpl. Oj J. Santamaria were sworn in as an American citizens in April after being wounded during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

    According to the article, Denogean came from Mexico to Arizona at age six and currently serves with the 1st Tank Battalion at Twentynine Palms, Calif.

    Santamaria, of Daly City, Calif., is assigned to 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment based here.

    I went in (the Marine Corps), and it was (an opportunity). But it was all we ever had, Denogean told the Washington Post of enlisting 25 years ago. Give us a chance, and we'll do the job.

    Sosa said many Hispanic Marines see the Corps as that a chance. He said some of them left countries with violence and political problems for the land of opportunity? and now they want to pay America back.

    I think a lot of (Hispanics) see the Marine Corps as a way to repay the country that gave them the opportunity for success,Sosa said. They are proud to be Hispanic, but even more proud to be Marines.

    The nearly 26-year veteran said the performance of Hispanic Marines is no surprise.

    The Hispanic Marines performed extremely well, just like any other Marines, said Sosa.

    One such Marine is an example of superior performance. Sergeant Javier Castro was recently rewarded for his efforts as the assistant platoon sergeant for Headquarters Platoon, A Company, 2nd TSB. The Miami Beach, Fla., native, received a meritorious promotion to his current rank in June and was recently recognized by the Jacksonville/Onslow County Chamber of Commerce, Military Affairs Committee as the August 2003 Service Member of the Month.

    Castro, 21, said it's his job to motivate his Marines and make them want to come to work everyday. Castro, whose family hails from San Andreas Island, Colombia, said he ensures his Marines don't have any administrative problems, their gear is combat ready and they are properly supervised.

    He brings out the best in us, said Lance Cpl. Matthew C. Kirschner, a motor transport operator for the Logistic Vehicle System. We always want to work hard for him because he looks out for us and takes care of our problems before his own.?

    Castro's Marines also look to him for leadership. They said his style is inspiring.

    He sees more than just our rank, Kirschner said. He sees the person wearing the rank. I honestly can't think of a better Marine I'd like to serve with.

    A celebration to honor Hispanics here is scheduled for Oct. 3 from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. at Marston Pavilion. The guest speaker will be a visiting soldier from Chile.

    CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - Marines from Headquarters Platoon, A Company, 2nd Transportation Support Battalion look on as their assistant platoon sergeant demonstrates proper operation for a generator. Sergeant Javier Castro (right), a Miami Beach, Fla., native, is of Hispanic heritage and strives to prepare his Marines for a company field exercise. National Hispanic Heritage Month began September 15 and will continue through Oct. 15.
    Photo by: Cpl. G. Lane Miley




  2. #2

    Cool Marines honor Hispanic Americans

    Marines honor Hispanic Americans
    Submitted by: MCB Hawaii
    Story Identification Number: 2003106193816
    Story by MCB Hawaii

    MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII, KANEOHE BAY, Hawaii(Sept. 26, 2003) -- The history of the Marine Corps is resplendent with the contributions of Hispanic Americans. Marines bearing the names of De La Garza, Garcia, Gomez and Gonsalves hold a special place in Marine Corps lore.

    Devil dogs named Gonzalez, Jimenez and Lopez performed acts of heroism worthy of Marine Corps legend. Leathernecks bearing these surnames, each Hispanic American, died in service to their country and Corps while earning the Medal of Honor.

    Hispanic Americans were serving in leadership positions in the Marine Corps before their acceptance in mainstream American culture. All of America now benefits from the leadership, determination and drive the Marine Corps recognized in World War II, Korea and Viet Nam.

    Corporate America now knows the lessons the Marine Corps learned in places like Okinawa, the Chosin Reservoir and Hue.

    As each new chapter of history unfolds for the Corps, Hispanic American Marines are helping write it in places like Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq.

    In every company, squadron, office or shop around the Corps today, Hispanic American Marines are leading, following and taking care of the day-in, day-out business of the Corps.

    As our nation's fastest growing population group, the future success of the Marine Corps is inextricably linked to Hispanic Americans - and that's a great thing.

    Hispanic Americans infuse the Corps with their own vibrant culture and traditions that make our collective whole stronger by multiples over our individual parts.

    The young Hispanic men and women who join the Marine Corps today are born of a proud culture. They choose to adopt the ethos of the Marine Corps and ultimately strengthen our Corps
    and nation.

    Guest speaker Jenny Fracasso, a native of Vera Cruz, Mexico, dances to a Mariachi tune to demonstrate her heritage, Sept. 24 during a Hispanic Heritage luncheon at the Anderson Hall dining facility aboard Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay.
    Photo by: Sgt. Joseph A. Lee

    Pfc. Fernando Luis Garcia was awarded the Medal of Honor for courageously sacrificing his life to save another Marine during a battle in Korea.
    Photo by: Official USMC photograph

    Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, this year.
    Photo by: Official USMC photograph




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