Fort Riley, Kansas



Recognizing feats of Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders

By Calun Reece | EO | May 31, 2013

The accomplishments of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders were celebrated with an observance May 15 at Riley's Conference Center.

The observance was hosted by the 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley Equal Opportunity Office.

Nita Miller, secretary, Directorate of Logistics, was the guest speaker.

Miller has called Fort Riley home since 1955 and has a rich Asian-Pacific American heritage.

"My Family and I left the Philippines in 1951, when I was 3 years old, and we celebrated my sister's first birthday on the ship, which took us 30 days to get to the United States," Miller said.

Miller's father also was one of thousands of Americans and Filipino prisoners forced to march in the Bataan Death March during World War II. He joined the U.S. Army in 1950.

It was her father who inspired her and her eight siblings to advance their education and to make a difference in the community, she said.

"It is important to continue to learn about surrounding cultures because the United States is a melting pot," Miller said.

Asian American and Pacific Islander is a large category, said Sgt. 1st Class Frank Desario, noncommissioned officer in charge, EO. It includes more than 50 ethnic groups.

"I thought (the observance) was very good, educational and showed the importance of understanding other people's cultures," said Staff Sgt. Bradley Crawford, 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division.

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