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FORT LEE, Va. (Sept. 14, 2017) -- Fort Lee’s annual Hispanic Heritage Month celebration is set for Oct. 18, 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., at the Lee Theater.

The theme is “Shaping the Bright Future of America.” This year’s hosts are the 59th Ordnance Brigade and Defense Contract Management Agency.

The guest speaker is Jaime Areizaga-Soto, deputy secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs of Virginia. Areizaga-Soto works with Secretary John Harvey, a retired admiral, in advising Governor Terry McAuliffe on all matters related to the approximately 800,000 Virginia veterans and in ensuring that a productive relationship is maintained between the Commonwealth and all Department of Defense assets in Virginia.

Areizaga-Soto graduated from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and upon graduation was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Army. In 2013, he was called to active duty to attend the war college course in Fort McNair, D.C., where his fellow senior officers from the various U.S. services and 15 other nations elected him class president.

The observance will include a performance from a local cultural dance team –

Adrianas Y Marias Tienda. The dance they will perform is called Danza de los Viejitos de Michoacan. The 392nd Army band also will provide music. Hispanic food tastings from several Fort Lee area restaurants will be available. A mariachi band will perform during the food tastings.

The heritage month observation runs from Sept. 15 - Oct. 15 and was started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson. It was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period. It was enacted into law on Aug. 17, 1988, with the approval of Public Law 100-402. The observance recognizes the important contributions made by Hispanic and Latino Americans to the United States and celebrates their heritage and culture.

Organizers of the event want to emphasize diversity and educate as well as entertain visitors about Hispanic culture.

For more information on Fort Lee’s Hispanic Heritage Month celebration, call 1st. Lt. Alex Matyosian at (804) 765-9305 or Staff Sgt. Lisa Roberts at 765-9283.