From Dreams to Wings

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Madelyn Yepez
  • Space Base Delta 2 Public Affairs

National Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrated from September 15th to October 15th, is a vibrant tribute to the rich and diverse cultural contributions of Hispanic communities in the United States. 


People of Hispanic descent, who make up the largest ethnic or racial minority group in the United States as of 2020, originate from diverse Latin American countries, enriching the nation’s cultural tapestry. Many Hispanic immigrants have encountered challenges, but throughout the past few decades, policies and initiatives have made it easier for individuals to join the military. For example, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA): recipients were allowed to enlist in the military through the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI) program.


Retired MSgt. Homero Morales-Arellano, former 460th Comptroller Squadron flight chief, was a part of the first generation in his family to serve in the U.S. Air Force, with his career beginning in 2003 at Buckley Space Force Base, previously known as Buckley Air Force Base. His younger sister, Capt. Mayrem Morales, North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command, Public Affairs Officer, delivered a heartfelt speech as she discussed the many accomplishments her brother had throughout his career and how he inspired her to take a similar path.    


“I hope you know the impact your career has had to so many people,” remarked Capt. Morales. “I can assure you I would not be up here on stage if it wasn’t because of you inspiring me and motivating me to be the best version of me.”


Both raised by immigrant parents, the Morales siblings were constantly reminded to be grateful for what they had and to “echarle ganas,” Spanish slang for “give it all you got!” At 15 years old, former MSgt. Morales arrived in the United States with the adversity of having to adapt to a new country and learning a new language. Six years later, he enlisted and embarked on his military career and paved the way for his sister. Inspired by her brother, Capt. Morales became a U.S. citizen and commissioned as a U.S. Air Force officer.


“Remember those that have helped you stand where you are now and never forget or be ashamed of your origin,” said former MSgt. Morales, “When joining the military, the biggest emotion was the sense “de orgullo para mi familia” (the sense of pride for my family).” 

In the remarkable journey of the Morales siblings who found success in the United States Air Force, we witness a living testament to the enduring power of determination, family, and sacrifices made by countless people in the Hispanic community to pave the way for brighter futures, one generation at a time.