NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka Celebrates Asian American, Pacific Islander Heritage
YOKOSUKA, Japan – Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center (NAVSUP FLC) Yokosuka hosted an Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebration May 20 at command headquarters, aboard Yokosuka Naval Base.
The Navy encourages commands to embrace this year's national theme "Walk Together, Embrace Differences, Build Legacies."
The event highlighted the many accomplishments of Asian American and Pacific Islanders in society and showcased several live acts to include Polynesian dancing, singing and drum performances.
The keynote speakers were Lt. j.g. Jessica Magallanes, NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka customer service officer, and her father Gerry Magallanes, a retired senior chief petty officer with more than 20 years of service.
"I am the child of immigrants, the child of parents who left their old lives with nothing in their pockets except the ambition to bravely pursue a new life in a foreign country," said the younger Magallanes. "Without my father's service, without America, without the Navy, I wouldn't be here today standing before you as a United States naval officer."
During the address the elder Magallanes discussed his humble origins from Cavite, Philippines. He recalled hanging out at the back of the old Chief Petty Officer Club at former U.S. Naval Station Sangley Point, where his dad worked as a cook.
"I used to patiently wait outside for untouched left over food to eat," he said.
Fast forward to 1987 in Subic Bay, Philippines and his life would forever be changed.
"I won the opportunity of a lifetime against 500 other applicants -- I was recruited into the U.S. Navy," he said. "I was moving to America, I was going to be an American...everything was going to change."
"When I was promoted to chief petty officer [aboard] USS Bunker Hill, I entered the CPO Club here in Yokosuka for the first time," he said. "I was emotional, remembering the days I spent outside the CPO kitchen in Sangley Point...but now, I could enter through the main door and eat here as a chief."
This success of the father was then passed along to the daughter, who continued the family's naval service.
"As I watch my children lead their own lives as adults with families and successful careers, I feel a personal sense of pride knowing that those long arduous days at sea produced all of that," he said.
The younger Magallanes echoed the pride shared by her father.
"I am an educated and successful American because the Navy gave me the opportunity to be one," she said. "I am who I am because of my father's service, and because of that, I chose to serve and continue a legacy, the same legacy shared by many Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the military today."
After listening to the Magallanes story, members of the NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka community joined together to share in a potluck-style meal and reflect on the cultural celebration they had observed.
The Navy conducts activities in observance of nine specified diversity-related groups, events or individuals annually. Department of Defense themes are promulgated by The Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute.
NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka, one of eight fleet logistics centers under NAVSUP Global Logistics Support (GLS), is the Western Pacific region's largest U.S. Navy logistics command, headquartered just 26 miles due south of Tokyo, the enterprise networks more than 20 sites and fuel terminals from Misawa, Japan, to Sydney, Australia; Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean to Guam with a mission to serve the Asia Pacific Region's forward deployed maritime warfighter with 24/7 operational logistics support -- integrating an extensive service provider network to deliver fuel, material, mail and supply chain services across the U.S. Navy's largest geographical area of responsibility (AOR).
NAVSUP GLS provides global logistics for a global Navy. The organization is made up of approximately 6,300 military and civilian logistics professionals operating from 105 locations worldwide providing an extensive array of integrated global logistics and contracting services to Navy, Marine Corps, joint operational units, and allied forces across all warfare enterprises.
For more information, visit http://www.navy.mil/, http://www.facebook.com/usnavy/, or http://www.twitter.com/usnavy/.
For more news from Naval Supply Systems Command, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/navsup/.