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Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month honors service, sacrifices
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Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month honors service, sacrifices

Posted 5/2/2014   Updated 5/2/2014 Email story   Print story


by Airman 1st Class Benjamin Raughton
2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs

5/2/2014 - BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, LA. -  -- The Department of Defense takes time to recognize and honor the dedicated service and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, both past and present, through military service in defense of our nation.

For 170 years, the AAPI have helped shape American history. Their traditions and sacrifices are celebrated annually.

According to the Library of Congress, the commemoration of Asian-Pacific Americans began in 1978, when Congress passed a law directing President Jimmy Carter to issue a proclamation designating the week beginning May 4, 1979 as Asian-Pacific American Heritage Week. Every year since, a presidential proclamation has been signed. Col. Andrew Gebara, 2nd Bomb Wing commander will also sign a proclamation at the AAPI luau May 2.

"When we talk about America's AAPI communities, we're talking about the industry and entrepreneurship of people who've helped build this nation for centuries: from the early days, as laborers on our railroads and farmers tilling our land, to today, as leaders in every sector of American life, from business to science to academia, law and more," said President Barack Obama at the AAPI Initiative executive order signing in 2009. The signing reestablished the President's Advisory Commission and White House initiative on AAPI.

Obama also noted the proud tradition of service the AAPI provides America in military service worldwide.

Barksdale will also commemorate the month with events and celebrations beginning May 2, to include a culture show and luau.

"The luau is free and anyone with base access can join," said Senior Airman Pat Chuenpreecha, Asian-Pacific Islander Club President. "There will be more than 40 food items from the Philippines, Korea, Thailand, Hawaii and Japan. There will also be a pig roast."

The Luau will also include dances such as a Chinese lion dance, dragon dance, and Japanese taiko drummers.

Also scheduled is a children's time program at the Youth Center May 16, where children can create arts and crafts. For adults, golf and bowling tournaments are also slated for May 22 and 30, respectively.

"We started small, but our goal is growth," Chuenpreecha said. "We want to become a larger community, build more friendships and help more people."

For more information on Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month and related events, contact Senior Airman Chuenpreecha at, or Staff Sgt. Christopher Reyes, APIC vice president, at 456-4093.

Some information in this article provided by

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