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News | Sept. 21, 2020

DLA Aviation spotlights Wilfredo Medina Jr. during Hispanic Heritage Month

By DLA Aviation Public Affairs Office

Editor’s Note: Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated across the nation every year from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. The 2020 theme is “Hispanics: Be Proud of Your Past and Embrace the Future.”  Defense Logistics Agency Aviation is proud to feature Wilfredo “Will” Medina Jr.

I am: A material planner in the Planning Directorate, DLA Aviation in Richmond, Virginia. I am a retired Army Veteran of 22 1/2 years. I am a native of the beautiful island of Puerto Rico, but most importantly, I am a husband and a father of 5 children.

Describe your job: As a material planner, I am responsible for ensuring that material is available to support our customers. I ensure that there is enough material scheduled to arrive, generate purchase requisitions, review contracts and requests contract status.  I coordinate with internal and external customers and make sure that material information is correct.

How long have you worked at DLA Aviation? I started with DLA in September 2019. My one-year anniversary will be at the end of September.

What is your favorite thing about working for DLA? The opportunity to continue serving our troops. Having been the recipient of DLA’s materials and support while on active duty, I understand what DLA means to our customers in CONUS and OCONUS.

The theme for this month's observance is "Hispanics: Be Proud of Your Past and Embrace the Future." In your words, briefly explain what this means to you? We all come from different backgrounds and walks of life and I believe you should always be proud of the past; after all, that was the first stepping stone into becoming who you are today. Embracing the future is equally as important. We live in an ever-changing world. We must embrace the future in order to create a better version of who we are today.

Tell us something unique about your heritage or country of origin. The Puerto Rican people are a mix of the indigenous Taíno and Carib Indian Tribe, Spanish and African. The bloodlines of these cultures are what makes Puerto Ricans one of the proudest communities. This great fusion is highlighted in our customs, traditions, cuisine and culture. Puerto Ricans are extremely proud of their heritage and although we tend to be loud, we are also humble.

What is one thing you'd like others to know about your heritage? Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States with a population of over 2.8 million people. After centuries of Spanish rule, Puerto Rico was ceded to the United States in 1898 during the Treaty of Paris, ending the Spanish-American War. Puerto Rico became a U.S. territory and its people received their U.S. citizenship in 1917. The constitution was formally adopted in 1952. Although Spanish is the primary language on the island, English is a mandatory requirement from elementary school to colleges and universities.

Why is it important to you that we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month? I believe that it is important to highlight the contributions of all heritages. There are over 20 Spanish-speaking countries. Hispanics have contributed to the creation of these great nations. We made great contributions to agriculture, science, music, sports, cuisine, military, politics and many other areas.