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NEWS | May 8, 2015

Army Reserve soldiers celebrate Asian and Pacific Heritage Month

By Sgt. Aaron Berogan 85th Support Command

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill.- The 85th Support Command Equal Opportunity office hosted an Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month observance, during the command’s weekend battle assembly training, with a special performance by the Barefoot Hawaiian, a local Hawaiian performing arts company based in Des Plaines, Illinois, May 2.  

Gwen Kennedy is the founder of Barefoot Hawaiian and was the emcee for the heritage month observance.

During the ceremony some soldiers received laughs while watching their fellow soldiers participate in a random selection to dance with Barefoot Hawaiian, according to Master Sgt. Melody Tuper, Administrative Assistant.

“I thought it made it fun. It was fun to see (the soldiers) let loose,” said Tuper. “I thought once they got up there everybody was really into it… First they thought ‘I don’t know if I can wiggle,’ but then they just let loose. I think they released [some] tension.” 

The soldiers also received the opportunity to taste samplings of Korean dumpling egg rolls, Chinese style chicken wings and Japanese Kim Bob from local vendors located in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

The soldiers also received the opportunity to listen to one of their own, Capt. Joshua Choi, Chief of Military Law, 85th Support Command, tell his story. Choi shared his story about his immigration process to the United States from South Korea, and his decision to join the United States Army.

“For years I thought ‘What can I do to serve my country?’” said Choi. “I decided to go to law school; and in my first year I attended law school Army information session and joined the Army in 2011.”