153rd Airlift Wing Hosts Joint Diversity Day

CHEYENNE, Wyo. --

A day dedicated to celebrating diversity was held at the 153rd Airlift Wing, Thursday, at a multi-cultural event.

Diversity Day events can be traced back to 1998 according to Master Sgt. Charles Olivas, Wyoming equal employment manager. “This event is a coming together moment,” said Olivas. “It highlights our differences as a military organization.”

The event brought together not only members from different branches of service but also residents of the surrounding community.

“Even though we all wear a uniform, we’re all different,” said Olivas. “We are a reflection of the community.”

Master Sgt. Zachary Austin, 153rd Maintenance Group training manager, brought three generations of his family to the event.  His wife, who is also a member of the wing, is scheduled to deploy soon. The Austin family saw the event as an opportunity to spend quality time together. Along with their daughter and grandson, they celebrated the different activities available at the event.

“This is my first time attending,” said Austin. “It was one of things where I was asked to prepare the hangar for the event and I thought ‘what event?’”

He excitedly described his first diversity day as a fun way to see first-hand community involvement on base. 

“I walked in the hangar with two Airmen from my unit and we immediately learned something new,” said Austin.  “We didn’t just get to eat different kinds of food, but we learned about the culture at the same time.  This was an educational, all-positive event.”

Diversity day is held annually and is celebrated in a way unique to each branch of service. Thursday’s event brought a crowd of about 300 participants with plans already underway for next year.