Commentary: Team Hill celebrates AAPI Heritage Month

  • Published
  • By Aloha Reynolds
  • Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Employment Program Manager

Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, celebrated throughout the month the May, honors the generations of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders who contributed and continue to contribute to the success of this nation.

Asian/Pacific American Heritage week was established in 1978 by a joint congressional resolution and was expanded to a month by Congress in 1992.

Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders have contributed tremendously to the development of this nation since our arrival many centuries ago. We have served in all branches of the armed and civil services.

My family has contributed to this nation’s bid for freedom. Two of my older brothers enlisted with the U.S. Air Force when I was a young girl living in the Philippines.

I remember feeling confused as to why they were leaving our family and home country. I was nervous that I wouldn’t see them for a very long time, or even worse, would never see them again. As a little girl, I equated death with any military service.

A few years later, my parents and other siblings followed my older brothers and emigrated to the United States. Upon settling in Utah, I quickly understood why my brothers chose to serve.

Not only did the Air Force provide them with many opportunities as young Airmen, but they were doing important work to protect this great nation. They took great pride in their military careers and their example influenced me to also serve in my own way.

As a first-generation immigrant from the Philippines, I wanted to follow in my brother’s footsteps and serve this country. My first career position was at the State of Utah District Courts where after eleven years of service, I closed that chapter to pursue an opportunity with the Air Force PALACE Acquire internship program.

Six years later, I am still enjoying my career path and learning the logistics and program management roles of the Air Force. I know the work I am doing is important and serves the warfighter, and I take great pride in it, just like my brothers did with their military careers.

My brothers are now retired from the Air Force after successfully serving for more than 20 years and moving on post-military service with their beautiful families.

I have a special bond with my brothers because of our Air Force careers.

As the youngest child, sometimes you may not have a strong connection with your older siblings, and I am grateful to say that I do. The Air Force has played an important role in our family, and we hope it continues to the next generation.

Join us throughout the month as we celebrate the contributions, sacrifices, and achievements of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders.

• AAPI Information booth at the Base Exchange from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on 1 May
• AAPI Mentor Panel on May 31 via Zoom. A link will be sent out via internal channels.

Throughout the month, there will be newsletters, social media blasts, and some employee spotlights highlighting Hill AFB civilian employees and service members.