poster-aapi-heritage-month-thumb.jpg  Leader Staff Reports

In May, Fort Jackson celebrated the rich cultural history and the service of Asian American Pacific Islanders during a month-long virtual celebration hosted by the 193rd Infantry Brigade.

Col. Mark Huhtanen, 193rd commander said in a recorded statement that the “strength of our Army is people and diversity is something to celebrate.”

The virtual event is an

annual celebration that honors “the cultural traditions, ancestry, native languages and unique experiences of more than 56 ethnic groups who speak over 100 languages,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Travis Wirth, 193rd senior enlisted leader.

The event honors “the dedicated service and recognizes the dedicated service and rich diversity of Asian American Pacific Islanders,” Wirth added.

As part of that celebration, some of the brigade’s Asian American Pacific Islander team members spoke about their Families and what service means to them.

Soldiers such as Maj. Aiana Artis, executive officer for 2nd Battalion, 60th Infantry Regiment and daughter of Filipino immigrants to Guam.

“I am proud of my heritage because it’s a representation of a group of strong-willed and determined people who have defied the oppression of colonization and the trauma of World War II with the Japanese,” she said.

Artis also spoke about Filipino American women who worked with the underground movement during the Japanese occupation to help Americans and Filipinos in Japanese prisoner of war camps.

“These courageous individuals smuggled food and medicine to American prisoners of war and carried information on Japanese deployments to Filipino and American forces working to sabotage the Japanese Army,” she said.

To watch the entire virtual presentation visit: