As Hispanic Heritage Month begins on Wednesday, the nation is reaching out to thank the 140,000 Hispanic Americans that serve in the U.S. Army.
This year's theme is Esperanza: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope. 23 percent of the Army's Hispanic American soldiers serve in the III Armored Corps. Fort Hood III Armored Corps recognized Hispanic American soldiers for their contributions in a letter that outlined the legacy of some.
"Diversity is a component of our strength, and together, we are the most lethal organization in the world - America's Hammer!" said the letter.
The letter reflected on the sacrifices of several Hispanic Americans, mentioning some by name and detailing the influence they made on the course of history - from World War 2 to the Vietnam and Korean wars.
"In the Tay Ninh Province of Vietnam, 1966, Captain Eurípides Rubio, with the 1st Infantry Division, exposed himself to heavy enemy fire," said the letter. "Despite being severely wounded, he successfully repositioned a friendly airstrike marker to destroy hostile positions, ultimately turning the tide of the battle."
According to the III Corps, forty-six Hispanic American Soldiers have earned the Medal of Honor. The III Corps' first Phantom Warrior to receive the distinction was Private Pedro Cano from Edinburg. Cano's actions in Germany, while he volunteered to serve during World War 2, continue to be remembered today at Fort Hood.
Hispanics make up the largest ethnic minority in the United States with more than 35 million Hispanic Americans, according to the National Hispanic Council on Aging.
"However, for a long time Latinos have been underrepresented in the volunteer military forces, especially among officer positions," said the NHCOA. "Hispanics now account for nearly 16 percent of the military, the largest proportion of Hispanic members in the military in U.S. history."
Additionally, more Hispanic females are joining the army at rates faster than Hispanic men, according to the NHCOA.
"America's Army and III Crops remains dedicated to strengthening our diverse force and ensuring equality for all its service members and their families," said the letter.
Teammates! Good morning. Today marks the beginning of our observance of National Hispanic Heritage Month. Please read our message to you. #iiicorps #phantomstrong #peoplefirst #forthood @forthood @USAGforthood @1stCavalryDiv @1stArmoredDiv @FightingFirst @4thInfDiv @13th_ESC pic.twitter.com/dXBJwTjpml— Lt. Gen. Pat White (@iiicorps_cg) September 15, 2021