SMC celebrates excellence through diversity during Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month
By Tamry McCauley, Space and Missile Systems Center Public Affairs
/ Published June 22, 2018
LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --
The Space and Missile Systems Center and the Equal Opportunity Diversity committee at Los Angeles Air Force Base wrapped up the annual Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebration May 30 in the courtyard of the Schriever Space Complex at Los Angeles Air Force Base. This year’s theme, “Unite our Vision by Working Together,” honored the contributions, service, and sacrifices of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have made in our nation, the armed services, and the SMC community.
SMC personnel had an opportunity to see representatives from as many as 50 ethnic groups from as far away as Asia, the Philippines, and the Pacific Islands. Charles Ulualofaiga (Alo) Coleman II, currently the first Associated Student of Loyola Marymount University president, a native Hawaiian with Samoan heritage was guest speaker for the ceremony.
“While not a member of the military, I am a product of a proud military family,” said Coleman. “At my age, my father, Charles U. Coleman, served with the 173rd Airborne Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, Special Forces during the Vietnam era. I have family in every branch of the military. Our family as well as anyone currently serving, knows the sacrifice and heart it takes to make such a brave commitment.”
"Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebrates the culture, traditions, and history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States,” said Cordell A. DeLaPena, director of SMC’s Program Management and Integration Directorate, and presiding official for the celebration. “It is also a time we pay tribute to the generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders who have contributed and enriched the United States history dating back from World War II to the present.”
This year’s event marks SMC's 25th anniversary of the center-wide Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage celebration, which included cultural booths from Japan, American Samoa, Independent State of Samoa, Guam, Korea, China, Taiwan, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.