Staff, students and leaders at Navy Medicine Training Support Center (NMTSC) aboard Joint Base San Antonio - Fort Sam Houston, Texas, celebrated the life and achievements of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the Medical Education and Training Campus (METC) Jan. 17.
"It is important that we come together for diversity days, for celebratory days," said Rear Adm. Rebecca McCormick-Boyle, commander, Navy Medicine Education, Training and Logistics Command (NMETLC). "I encourage you always, every time there is an opportunity to take that moment and come to an event such as this. It is a celebration and you will learn something."
Everyone in attendance at NMTSC's celebration were able to watch a moving video about the early civil rights movement and King's actions at the time to promote equality. Tears fell with the dramatic reading of King's "I Have A Dream" speech which he gave during the March on Washington Aug. 28, 1963.
"Every time we have an opportunity to hold one of these diversity events, in particular today's event in remembrance of Martin Luther King and all of the amazing things that he managed to accomplish in a peaceful way," said Capt. Brent Kelln, NMTSC commanding officer, "it gives us time to pause and reflect on those things. And also to think about how important diversity is for us as a Navy. It does make us stronger. It certainly has made us stronger as a nation."
Kelln encouraged those in attendance to reflect on the ways King has impacted their own lives.
"Think about how it applies to your life today and all the things that have gone on because of those who have gone before us to make not only today, but our future that much better," he said. "People like him have really paved the way for us to have a better life and more equality for all citizens. So it's a great day to remember those things and think about how they apply in our lives."
After the video, words from Kelln and McCormick-Boyle, and the dramatic reading of King's speech, guest speaker Cmdr. Keith Dobbins, NMTSC, spoke to the crowd and was immediately followed by a moving song performed by the Basic Medical Technician, Corpsman Program (BMTCP) Choir.
Dobbins discussed King's speech he gave to high school students about finding your life's blueprint. With an appropriate audience of students new to the Navy, Dobbins covered the three pillars King suggested including the deep belief in your own individual dignity and self-worth, the determination to achieve excellence, and the commitment to the eternal principles of beauty, love and justice.
"If you can take no action in the face of injustice, you choose the side of injustice," Dobbins said. "I encourage you and challenge you to look at where your practices are in your current life within how you exist in the military uniform, what's asked of you, what's required of you. There are cases of individuals, Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines that have stood up against practices that were immoral or unjust."
The celebration ceremony was immediately followed by a reception where guests could mingle and enjoy refreshments.
NMTSC is the Navy service component of METC, where hospital corpsman receive their initial and follow-on training, and reports to NMETLC. NMETLC manages Navy Medicine's logistic and enlisted and officer education and training programs, including medical operational training for medical and medical support personnel deploying worldwide.
NMTSC and NMETLC are part of the Navy Medicine team, a global health care network of Navy medical professionals around the world who provide high-quality health care to eligible beneficiaries. Navy Medicine personnel deploy with Sailors and Marines worldwide, providing critical mission support on the sea aboard ships, in the air, under the sea and on the battlefield.
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