News Search


Hispanic Heritage Month: Passing on Tradition

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Jhanelle Haag
  • 47th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs
"I believe that every culture, not only Hispanics, want to pass down traditions to the next generation," said Yolanda Reyes, 47 Maintenance Directorate T-38 Talon engine mechanic.

From Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 Hispanic Heritage is celebrated throughout the country. It's a time for Hispanics to celebrate their roots and it's an opportunity to pass down long lasting traditions that seem to be fading.

"When I was growing up one thing you always did when you saw your grandmother, grandfather or someone older was kiss their hand out of respect," said Reyes. "Unfortunately you don't always see little traditions like that anymore."

At Laughlin multiple events were planned and executed, to include a fact sheet to highlight the different traditions in Hispanic countries, explained Reyes.

"Last year was my first year here and before Sept. 15, 2013, I asked my supervisor if we could celebrate Hispanic Heritage for a day," said Reyes. "He told me that would be great and I should coordinate and plan the whole month for the maintenance squadron. It felt great to have that type of support."

Reyes is a native of Gonzalez, Texas who moved to San Antonio, Texas and joined the Air Force Reserves. She served from 1980 to 1986 as an air cargo reservist. Reyes also worked at Kelly Air Force Base as a civil service engineer mechanic from 1980-1991.

On Nov. of 1992 Reyes began working for Lockheed Martin and after 18 years was laid off. From there she saw an opportunity to continue working as a mechanic at Laughlin AFB.

"Working hard, respecting others and helping to influence in a positive light is what I strive to do every day," said Reyes. "Hopefully I can pass those things down to someone else because that's how I was raised."