Hispanic Heritage Month kicked off Tuesday at the Fort Bragg Club. Fun, food and dancing highlighted the event that recognizes Hispanic contribution to the Army.

Hispanic Heritage Month is observed annually in the United States from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 to recognize the contributions and achievements of Hispanic and Latino Americans.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to recognize cross-cultural awareness across the board,” said Lt. Col. Joel Warhurst 82nd Sustainment Brigade Provisional.

“Fort Bragg has taken on several initiatives that every month we recognize different ethnic groups, racial groups and gender groups across the board to ensure that we recognize the contribution that all those groups have made to our nation.”

Robert Ramirez, a former active-duty Soldier and a Fayetteville police lieutenant was guest speaker. He thanked the Latin community for instilling in him the work ethic that helped him prosper during his time in the military as well as a husband and father.

“When I got to the military, I thought since I had a good work ethic I was set,” said Ramirez. “I didn’t know the Army planned on making me work twice as hard.”

During his speech, Ramirez reminded Soldiers that giving back to the community does not stop with reassignment to a new place.

“The communities still need good people to reach back into them and help prevent the bad things that can go wrong when they’re neglected,” said Ramirez.

Ramirez also thanked his Family and the men and women who continue to do what it takes to protect all  of America’s freedom. He takes pride in continuing to work in law enforcement as well as an Army reservist.

“To me, you all are my hero,” said Ramirez. “It’s my honor to be here today and I know it is because of you that I’m here. It is with great pride that I say hard work pays.”