Diversity part of Air Force’s past, present, future

  • Published
  • By Col. Jerry Martinez
  • 62nd Airlift Wing commander
The road to diversity and acceptance has not always easy in this country, but the military has long led the way. From African-American soldiers in the Revolutionary War to the Tuskegee Airmen and the Japanese-American regiments of World War II, Americans of every race have shown their equality in the military and opened doors for future generations.

Monday, the wing hosted a lunch to celebrate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a man who opened doors of opportunity for Americans of all races. Dr. King was a man who saw not just the problems, but also the potential in the world around him. His legacy of determination and courage is what our core values are all about.

Dr. King never compromised his principles and fought for what he believed no matter how hard it was. He showed integrity. He embodied service before self as he put himself at risk to spread his message. Finally, Dr. King spoke about the importance of every job, large or small. He said, "Whatever your life's work is, do it well"-- Excellence in all we do.

Since the early days of the Air Force, we have seen great acts of bravery from Airmen of every race who have had the courage to stand up to those who seek to harm us or our fellow Americans. When you raised your right hand to swear your allegiance to the United States, you told the world you had the courage of your convictions to fight for your country and what you believe. You are fighting to bring our country to its true potential. The bravery, dedication and service of men and women like you honor the legacy of Dr. King.

I want to thank Dr. Kenneth Hutcherson for bringing Dr. King's work to life for us at Monday's luncheon. And to every Airman serving today, I challenge you to continue to fight for what you believe is right in all things, large and small. Together we are helping to make the world of Dr. King's dreams a reality.