Las Jefas: Celebrate our Service Women & Men in the Military During the Holidays
By Marisa Rivera
The year 2020 will mark an epic year for the world and especially the USA. We have experienced a world pandemic that shot-down the entire world and continues to shake the core of the USA health, economy, and wellbeing of its citizens. We have also experienced social unrest, economic distress and a presidential election like no other. As we approach the holidays, let’s not forget our women and men in the military who are being deployed all over this country in support of the stateside COVID-19 operations. Instead of Thanksgiving and holiday eats and shopping, many servicemen and women are being deployed to support national COVID-19 operations.
The Department of Defense has been at the forefront in battling the war against the COVID-19. They have been working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of State to provide support in dealing with the coronavirus disease outbreak (Military on Source 2020).
Since the creation of Operation Warp Speed, a partnership among the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense, and private firms and other federal agencies, to accelerate the development, manufacturing and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics the military has been involved, including our Latino/a brothers and sisters. Latinas and Latinos are a critical part to the readiness of the total armed forces and key contributors to the Department of Defense national defense missions. Hispanics are the fastest growing population in the military, making up about 16 percent of all active-duty military, according to the Department of Defense (USA Today, June 2020).
Our military is always ready to go to war and battle any enemy in defense of the USA. This year has been a battle against a virus that has caused the death of over 283,000 Americans in the last nine months (John Hopkins Univ.) That is more than four times the casualties of U.S. Armed Forces who died in the 19-year Vietnam war.
Our servicewomen and men have been deployed to build hospitals, assist with shortages of medical and hospital personnel, distribute PPE equipment, work on testing sights, etc., and now DoD is partnering with the CDC and other parts of HHS to coordinate supply, production, and distribution of vaccines.
During this holiday season, let’s not forget our servicemen and women who are also in the front lines, serving this country and away from home. They have answered this country’s call and are ready and equipped to fight this new enemy that threatens the health and safety of all Americans.
We have to be grateful, thankful, and honor our service women and men who are sacrificing their holidays away from home to serve their country once again, not in a foreign land, but here at home. Our prayers and blessings also extend to the military families that also have to spend another holiday season without their loved ones.
Happy Holidays to you and yours and may God bless and protect America- The home of the Brave.
Marisa Rivera is president of Mpowerment Works, a motivational speaker, executive coach and leadership and empowerment consultant. Marisa@ MpowermentWorks.com.