Hispanic Heritage Month: Airman 1st Class Sophia Rodriguez

  • Published
  • AFIMSC Public Affairs

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas – It’s Hispanic Heritage Month! In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed the commemoration into law to recognize the significant contributions and influence of Hispanic Americans to the history, culture and achievements of the United States and the Air Force.

The theme for this year's celebration is, “Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation.” The theme encourages the nation to ensure that all voices are represented and welcomed to help build stronger communities and a stronger United States.

Meet Airman 1st Class Sophia Rodriguez, commander support staff technician at AFIMSC headquarters in San Antonio. Rodriguez shares her experience serving in the military and what Hispanic Heritage Month means to her. 

Here’s more from Rodriguez:

How do you support AFIMSC and the Air Force?
I joined the Air Force in August 2020 and have been supporting AFIMSC since December 2020. I’m responsible for managing key programs to support 10 detachments, four primary subordinate units and five directorates. I administer DDR, in processing, sponsorship and evaluations for members across the center. Additionally, I work as a UNITE program point of contact for the CSS and coordinate our quarterly resiliency day. Ensuring that Airmen's records are accurate is key to their career progression and success. 

What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?
Hispanic Heritage month is important to me because it represents the importance of staying in touch with one’s roots and never forgetting where you came from.  It means to celebrate Hispanic culture regardless of which country you’re from. I come from a Honduran family who worked incredibly hard to give me a life that was different from theirs.

My mother stayed home with my siblings and me while my father worked long hours. I am appreciative of everything they did to provide for the family. I owe it to them to push forward every day and work on achieving my goals so I can give back to them twice as much. I am the first person in my family to join the military and this is all due to my parents motivating me. Since enlisting, I’ve been exposed to people from all walks of life, and I enjoy learning about all cultures.

I grew up listening to everything in Spanish. My parents made sure that I learned their home country’s language, and this meant speaking, listening, and writing in Spanish. I remember starting school, and everyone spoke English and I felt lost. I look back now, and I am thankful to my parents for not letting me forget my roots. I plan on implementing the same to my future kids and exposing them to Latin culture because it truly is diverse and beautiful. They will be able to learn about Honduran culture from me and Puerto Rican culture through my husband and his family.