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Base celebrates Asian Pacific Americans’ month

A member of the hula dance team chats with a military member during the Asian American Hertiage Month picnic held at the Schriever Space Complex, May 16.

A member of the hula dance team chats with a military member during the Asian American Hertiage Month picnic held at the Schriever Space Complex, May 16.

LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE -- The base celebrated the 2007 Asian Pacific American Heritage month with a picnic at the Schriever Complex, May 16. The goal of this month is to bring awareness of the Asian-Pacific culture and to celebrate the accomplishments of the many Asian and Pacific Americans. 

This year's event was particularly special as it was the first APAH celebration that the base held on its own since the retirement of the previous program manager a few years ago. During the past four to five years, the base's Asian Pacific American celebrations were held in conjunction with The Aerospace Corporation's Asian American Association in their courtyard. 

"It's a whole new group here and we just wanted to go ahead and have our own on base," said the new Los Angeles AFB's APAH program manager, Elizabeth Tuaau, Defense Meteorological Satellite Group. "We wanted to start out fresh again with the new committee." 

More than 450 lunch tickets were sold for the picnic while many others stopped by to enjoy the entertainment and displays. Food items included teriyaki chicken, Asian noodles, rice, kimchee, island salad, lumpia and teriyaki hot links. The events included hula dancing where Los Angeles AFB's own personnel performed (who were taught by Ms. Tuaau). Displays included various cultural items from of various countries such as Japan, Guam, Philippines, Samoa and Indonesia. 

"The booths were the key to show everyone, 'this is my culture,' and for all of us to come here to America, which is an opportunity of growth and education that we can go on and to be able to do what we do at home," said Ms. Tuaau. "All of our cultures look at it as the land of opportunity." 

The celebration was also joined by the children from the base Child Development Center. The children brought over the drawings they did on to be displayed.
"They painted pictures of an Asian or a Pacific theme and we gave prizes," said Ms. Tuaau. 

"I want to thank the SMC 'Ohana,'" said Ms. Tuaau. "'Ohana' means family in Hawaiian and it's all about working together, no matter what." 

The APAH will be participating in Los Angeles AFB's Sports Day next month with their cultural food display, "The Island Booth." 

To join the Los Angeles AFB Asian Pacific American Heritage program or for more information, contact Ms. Tuaau at 310-653-9326.