Embrace, celebrate McChord’s diversity

  • Published
  • By Col. Jeffrey Stephenson
  • 62nd Airlift Wing commander
Every February, our great nation celebrates the history of African-Americans during Black History Month. Team McChord will take time to remember some of the great leaders that helped shape our nation during its annual Black History Month luncheon at the McChord Clubs and Community Center on Tuesday at 11 a.m. In honor of the celebration, I thought it would be appropriate to reflect on African- American history which is an integral part of our country's heritage. 

It's important that we take time this month to study the contributions of African-Americans and their effects on our past, present and future. During our past, our nation failed to recognize the importance of differing ethnicities and the many contributions they made to our nation. 

However, we've learned from the lessons of the past. We know that like our country, our Armed Forces draw their strength from its people. Their diverse backgrounds and perspectives provide new ways of thinking and new ideas that ensure we stay the best Air Force in the world! 

Our country is a melting pot of cultures because of the diversity of its citizens. The racial and ethnic backgrounds of proud Americans can be traced to nearly every country in the world. Nearly every language, every religion and every family structure can be found somewhere in our country, our Air Force and our Team McChord family. 

Highlighting the benefits of our diversity and celebrating it -- as we do during Black History Month -- is a step toward preventing past discretions from re-occurring. I walk into shops and offices throughout the base and see Airmen of every race, faith and gender working together. When our squadrons gather to celebrate, our children play together and our spouses socialize ... we see the strength and spirit of "Ohana." 

I ask you to join the wing at the luncheon and the other events we have planned throughout the month to celebrate Black History. By welcoming diverse cultures and viewpoints, we ensure we are creating the best possible future for not only the current generation but generations to come!