BATTLE CREEK, Mich, Oct. 9, 2020 —
National Hispanic Heritage Month traditionally honors the cultures and contributions of both Hispanic and Latino Americans and celebrates heritage rooted in all Latin American countries.
From mid-September through mid-October, the Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services is highlighting the stories of some of its Hispanic team members’ heritage.
Among those sharing stories is Jose (Joe) Cavazos, a customer account manager for DLA Disposition Services in Battle Creek, Michigan. Cavazos was asked to sit down (at the recommended social distance) and talk a little about his story
Cavazos discussed his early life in Texas, serving 23 years in the Army, including his time as a paratrooper. He then explained how when he got to DLA Disposition Services, he had to start at the bottom again as part of the DLA Pathways to Career Excellence Program and worked his way up.
It was Congressman George E. Brown of California who led the way in 1968 for national recognition of the role Hispanic and Latino Americans played throughout American history.
Presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter and Reagan all issued yearly proclamations, setting aside a week to honor Hispanic Americans.
Representative Esteban E. Torres of California proposed in 1987 to expand the week-long observance to its current 31-day period. Torres said an expansion would allow for people to properly observe and coordinate events and activities to celebrate Hispanic culture and achievement.
While President Ronald Reagan was the one to sign the bill into law in August of 1988, the first president to declare a 31-day period from September 15 to October 15 as National Hispanic Heritage Month was George H.W. Bush.
Bush had been a sponsor of the original Hispanic Heritage Week resolution when he served in the House of Representatives in 1968.
The dates for Hispanic Heritage Month were chosen as to include dates when several Latin American nations celebrate their independence.