During Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 through Oct. 15) it is traditional to spotlight members of that community. Like the rest of the Marine Corps, Marine Corps Systems Command incorporates Hispanic team members who make a difference every day.
Quanctico, VA -- “It's important to celebrate Hispanic Heritage because there are notable Latinos and Latinas in history that made a difference in today's society,” said Corporal Andres Valenzuela Medina, who works both in Marine Corps System Command’s (MCSC) Mailroom and in the Staff Secretary Administration Office. “It's also important to celebrate other groups’ heritages because they also make a difference.”
Medina’s ancestors are primarily from Mexico, Nicaragua and the Philippines. On his grandfather’s side he is also part of the Hopi Indian tribe.
“My grandfather was born and raised in Michoacán, Mexico,” Medina said. “My grandmother was born and raised in Sinaloa, Mexico. “They got married and resided in Pomona, Calif., before moving to Covington, Ga.”
Medina, who was promoted to Corporal on Sept. 4, believes diversity is important to the Command.
“It helps us understand each other's cultures and beliefs,” he said. “It can also bring unit cohesion, especially with activities emphasizing cultures of another race.”
According to the new Corporal, learning about different heritages and traditions can help MCSC team members.
“What may not matter to some, may matter a lot to others,” Medina said. “It helps us to understand each other, to respect one another's cultures and beliefs, and not to judge what we don’t understand.”
The junior enlisted Marine is proud to be an Hispanic American.
“It’s great to be recognized for our hard work ethic and dedication to the United States of America,” Medina stated.
He is also grateful to everyone at MCSC.
“Without your leadership and motivation, I wouldn't be what I am today, a Corporal in the Marine Corps,” Medina said. “I would also like to thank my lovely, beautiful wife, Lisa Marie Medina. She pushes me to be successful and lifts me up when I'm down on my knees. Finally, I thank God for answering my prayers. God bless you all and God bless America. Semper Fi!”