Troop Support hosts interactive program that highlights African-Americans in times of war

By John Dwyer III DLA Troop Support Public Affairs

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Employees at Naval Support Activity Philadelphia were encouraged to sing along during a cultural observance presentation honoring the impact of more than 200 years of African-Americans’ military service.

Vocalists from Key Arts Productions performed renditions of several contemporary songs and older spiritual selections to accompany a video showcasing African-Americans’ service in every major conflict in U.S. history.

Since the installation employs a large number of current and former military members whose primary focus is warfighter support, the theme of “African-Americans in Times of War” makes this observance especially meaningful to NSA Philadelphia, Army Brig. Gen. Mark Simerly, DLA Troop Support commander, said.

“[This type of cultural event] helps us share different perspectives … and appreciate our understanding of the importance of diversity and inclusiveness,” Simerly said, “not only within our workplace, but within our nation and what that means in the tapestry of our modern history and our mission.”

The video presentation, narrated by retired Army Gen. Colin Powell, actor Samuel L. Jackson and others, showcased famous and lesser known African-Americans in military history.

Veronica Menyweather, one of Key Arts’ vocalists, said that though the program was specific to African-Americans, the theme of standing up for what you believe in, despite adversity, is universal.

“You fight for what you believe in,” Menyweather said. “And if you’re a part of something, especially a country, then you have to fight for that.”

The presentation made Marsha Museka, the program’s emcee, proud.

“[I felt] pride in my family’s military history and how I can relate to some of the military families on the screen,” Museka, a customer liaison specialist for Troop Support’s Medical supply chain, said. “I like the fact that we’re honoring the military this time in the African-American program.”

The DLA Troop Support and NAVSUP Weapons Systems Support Equal Employment Opportunity Advisory Committees sponsored the event.