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NSA Souda Bay celebrates Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

30 May 2024

From Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Delaney S. Jensen

Naval Support Activity Souda Bay hosted an Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month celebration with the theme of “Advancing Leaders Through Innovation” in The Anchor on May 30, 2024.
NAVAL SUPPORT ACTIVITY SOUDA BAY, Greece (May 30, 2024) Naval Support Activity Souda Bay hosted an Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month celebration with the theme of “Advancing Leaders Through Innovation” in The Anchor on May 30, 2024.

AANHPI Heritage Month pays tribute to members of the AANHPI community for their dedication and service to our Nation by bringing varied and unique perspectives to developing innovative approaches to enhance the Department of Defense’s capabilities.

Chief Electronics Technician A.J. Ow, assigned to Naval Support Activity Souda Bay, shares the story of Lieutenant Susan Ahn Cuddy during an Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebration with the theme of “Advancing Leaders Through Innovation” in The Anchor on May 30, 2024.
Chief Electronics Technician A.J. Ow, assigned to Naval Support Activity Souda Bay, shares the story of Lieutenant Susan Ahn Cuddy during an Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebration with the theme of “Advancing Leaders Through Innovation” in The Anchor on May 30, 2024.
Chief Electronics Technician A.J. Ow, assigned to Naval Support Activity Souda Bay, shares the story of Lieutenant Susan Ahn Cuddy during an Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebration with the theme of “Advancing Leaders Through Innovation” in The Anchor on May 30, 2024.
NSA Souda Bay celebrates Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
Chief Electronics Technician A.J. Ow, assigned to Naval Support Activity Souda Bay, shares the story of Lieutenant Susan Ahn Cuddy during an Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebration with the theme of “Advancing Leaders Through Innovation” in The Anchor on May 30, 2024.
Photo By: Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Delaney S. Jensen
VIRIN: 240530-N-EM691-1044


“I’m thankful to the brave men and women that came before me to create this reality of many different countries and backgrounds that contribute to our modern day American society,” said Chief Electronics Technician A. J. Ow. “Not all of us will have grand stories of trailblazing or tales of overcoming racial adversity, but we are a proud people.”

The theme this year commemorates the contributions of AANHPI pioneers in the areas of science, art, business, civilian public service, and military strategy. NSA Souda Bay’s Sailors and personnel furthered that message by sharing their own experiences.

Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Kristine McDavid, assigned to American Forces Network Souda Bay, acts as the master of ceremonies during an Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebration with the theme of “Advancing Leaders Through Innovation” in The Anchor on May 30, 2024.
Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Kristine McDavid, assigned to American Forces Network Souda Bay, acts as the master of ceremonies during an Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebration with the theme of “Advancing Leaders Through Innovation” in The Anchor on May 30, 2024.
Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Kristine McDavid, assigned to American Forces Network Souda Bay, acts as the master of ceremonies during an Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebration with the theme of “Advancing Leaders Through Innovation” in The Anchor on May 30, 2024.
NSA Souda Bay celebrates Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Kristine McDavid, assigned to American Forces Network Souda Bay, acts as the master of ceremonies during an Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebration with the theme of “Advancing Leaders Through Innovation” in The Anchor on May 30, 2024.
Photo By: Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Delaney S. Jensen
VIRIN: 240530-N-EM691-1008


“I am a second generation Filipina,” said Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Kristine McDavid, assigned to American Forces Network Souda Bay. “I bet you’re thinking: Who is this little seaman apprentice and what can she tell me about courage and dedication fresh from A-school; and you’re right. I can’t tell you that much, but my story is just beginning. The courage and dedication of the Filipinos that have come before me enable me to forge it today.”
 
McDavid continued on to discuss the roles of Filipinos in the U.S. Navy beginning in 1901 with the establishment of the first U.S. Naval base in the Philippines. At that point, the Filipino community were only assigned to rates such as stewards, mess attendants, or other domestic rates; this didn’t change until the 1970s.

“This racially-based rating system was only eliminate in the 1970s thanks to the courage and dedication of our ancestors who demanded better. My cousins, my father, my mother, and my grandfathers have all served our Nation. The Navy my grandfather served in was vastly different from the one I serve in today. So while I have no stories of my own yet, my very existence as a Mass Communication Specialist is a story that was generations in the making.”

McDavid was not the only one in the ceremony to discuss her AANHPI heritage and how it brought her into the military service. Logistics Specialist 2nd Class April Wong discussed her parent’s immigration to the U.S. and how it shaped her future directly tying it back to this year’s AANHPI theme.

Logistics Specialist April Wong, assigned to Naval Support Activity Souda Bay, discusses her heritage during an Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebration with the theme of “Advancing Leaders Through Innovation” in The Anchor on May 30, 2024.
Logistics Specialist April Wong, assigned to Naval Support Activity Souda Bay, discusses her heritage during an Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebration with the theme of “Advancing Leaders Through Innovation” in The Anchor on May 30, 2024.
Logistics Specialist April Wong, assigned to Naval Support Activity Souda Bay, discusses her heritage during an Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebration with the theme of “Advancing Leaders Through Innovation” in The Anchor on May 30, 2024.
NSA Souda Bay celebrates Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
Logistics Specialist April Wong, assigned to Naval Support Activity Souda Bay, discusses her heritage during an Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebration with the theme of “Advancing Leaders Through Innovation” in The Anchor on May 30, 2024.
Photo By: Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Delaney S. Jensen
VIRIN: 240530-N-EM691-1054


“The meaning of innovation is the process of actions, new ideas and methods,” said Wong.  “[My parents] have given me so many opportunities and privileges to be here. As immigrants in a new country, my parents have learned a new language, adapted to a new lifestyle, and successfully brought up five children; four of whom are serving in the U.S. military.””
“Our time in the Navy shapes us and makes us better,” said Capt. Odin J. Klug, commanding officer, NSA Souda Bay. “The diversity and inclusivity is huge across our service. Take today as an opportunity to come together and share those things, to not just understand one another, but support and respect our varied backgrounds. I want to encourage each of us to embrace our own cultures to embrace our differences and values and share them every day in what you do. Three simple words – energize, motivate, and inspire.”

Capt. Odin J. Klug, commanding officer, Naval Support Activity Souda Bay, discusses the value of diversity during Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebration with the theme of “Advancing Leaders Through Innovation” in The Anchor on May 30, 2024.
Capt. Odin J. Klug, commanding officer, Naval Support Activity Souda Bay, discusses the value of diversity during Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebration with the theme of “Advancing Leaders Through Innovation” in The Anchor on May 30, 2024.
Capt. Odin J. Klug, commanding officer, Naval Support Activity Souda Bay, discusses the value of diversity during Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebration with the theme of “Advancing Leaders Through Innovation” in The Anchor on May 30, 2024.
NSA Souda Bay celebrates Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
Capt. Odin J. Klug, commanding officer, Naval Support Activity Souda Bay, discusses the value of diversity during Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebration with the theme of “Advancing Leaders Through Innovation” in The Anchor on May 30, 2024.
Photo By: Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Delaney S. Jensen
VIRIN: 240530-N-EM691-1075
 

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