Asian Pacific-Americans contribute to, serve the Tinker community

  • Published
  • By Tinker Asian Pacific-American Heritage
  • Committee
In his proclamation designating May as Asian Pacific-American Heritage Month, President Barack Obama paid tribute to the "intrepid men and women from the Asia Pacific region" who have "helped develop and defend the United States," while having "a profound impact on our society as leaders in all facets of American life."

He especially mentioned the service of "proud members of the United States Armed Forces." In that tradition, Tinker Air Force Base has an active and strong Asian Pacific American community as evidenced by the large number of active duty and civilian members of Team Tinker.

Founded in 1980, the Asian Pacific-American Heritage Committee at Tinker works tirelessly to promote culture and serve the community.

Lamberto Cabales, 558th Software Maintenance Squadron, said he was part of "a small group of Asian Pacific Americans with the intent of immersing and sharing our respective rich culture and tradition with the rest of the community."

During his three decade career at Tinker, Mr. Cabales has seen APAH become part and parcel of the Tinker community. APAH has been involved with many charitable activities on and off base over the years.

"APAH is now a stalwart organization with a forward vision and compassionate goals," Mr. Cabales said.

Cindy Solomon, a member of the Defense Logistics Agency and an APAH member since her arrival at Tinker in 1999, said she credits much of her personal and professional development to the organization.

"I did not know anyone here in Oklahoma," she said. "I joined APAH and from the very first meeting, I felt welcome."

A "close knit community," APAH members are always willing to lend a hand to people in need, from their own members to the broader community. As new people are assigned to Tinker every year, Ms. Solomon said she has "made friends that will last a lifetime."

Ron Porcadas, 558th SMXS, is one of those new employees excited about becoming active in APAH after coming to Tinker a few months ago.

"I have been involved with the Asian American Student Association at the University of Oklahoma, Mr. Porcadas said. "It is great to see my work area continue to promote the Asian Pacific culture."

From a professional standpoint, APAH is beneficial in furthering careers as members have the opportunity to network with people from across base who they would not normally meet.

"Being active in APAH is a good avenue to develop speaking, communication, and team building skills," Ms. Solomon said. "We work closely with each other on our projects."

An important way that APAH makes an impact is through the organization's annual awards program.

This year's APAH luncheon and awards ceremony was held yesterday.

"We are able to recognize people of Asian Pacific descent for their contributions to the community and to their work place," Ms. Solomon said.

In the proclamation, President Obama added that "in today's globalized world, these bonds remain critical, reminding the United States of our rich shared history and integrated future with the dynamic Asia Pacific region." He also encouraged Americans to visit www.AsianPacificHeritage.gov to learn more.

On a local level, membership in APAH is open to everyone with an interest in learning more about Asian Pacific American culture and serving the community. For more information, call Master Sgt. Nickie Jay Moreno, Tinker APAH chairperson, at 739-2039.