La. National Guard celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month
By Staff Sgt. Ryan J. Sonnier, 159th Fighter Wing Public Affairs Office
NEW ORLEANS – The Louisiana Air National Guard recognizes and celebrates the Hispanic community’s contributions and influences to the state and the country during National Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 15 – Oct. 15, 2020.
“[This month], to me, means honoring people like my parents, who came to this country with very little and worked very hard to succeed,” said Vides. “I honor that by trying to be the best I can be and hopefully passing on a strong work ethic to my daughters who are the next generation.”
Vides’ role as a first sergeant is focused on the readiness, health, morale, welfare and quality of life issues of the wing’s airmen. He recently returned from a 6-month deployment to Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, where he learned invaluable lessons to better serve the LAANG’s airmen and to ensure their success while preparing them for the future.
“My deployment was an excellent growth experience that gave me a different look at doing business; I feel the leaders I worked for gave me something to bring back to my sphere of influence,’’ he said. “At its core, being a first sergeant means serving your people – showing people that you care and that you have their best interests at heart is where [we] should excel.”
These traits are further instilled in this year’s theme – Honoring the Past, Securing the Future. Vides stated that honoring and identifying those who help shape the 159th FW shows the world the level of diversity that exists in the guard.
“Remember the people that came before you; not everything was easy [for them],” he continued. “When we have those bad days, we have to remember that our parents went through the same thing. The best thing you can do to honor them is to be better tomorrow than you were today and to keep striving for that.”