Hispanic Heritage Month - Pride in our Diversity

  • Published
  • By Maj Andrea Morris
  • 931 Air Refueling Wing

Every year, from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, Americans celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month. We do this by recognizing the achievements and contributions of Hispanic Americans and the influence of the Hispanic culture on the United States.

The 931st Air Refueling Wing is proud of its Hispanic members and their diverse backgrounds. You will learn about two of those members here:

Major Anabel Allen, 931st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.

Allen is a first generation American from Chihuahua Mexico. “We lived in a very small farm, far from the city where electricity and other basic needs were not available.”

How she got to where she is today:

“When I was about 6 years old I had a turning point for what I decided my life would look like as an adult. I look back and fondly remember picking up a calendar page, you know those calendars that would have the month on one side and a picture of something on the other. The wind had blown it into the back of our small house and was stuck onto the wall so I picked it up and the picture was what looked like a city but the streets were full of water, houses on both sides with small, funny looking static ‘boats’ and I remember thinking, one day, one day I will travel to this place. I don’t know how I planned to do this because we lived a very simple life, with oil lamps and we literarily ate what the land produced and what my father hunted and it was not because it was good for the environment or cool but because it was our way of life. Many years later, I learned that place was called Venice and it was in Italy. I have not gone to Venice but I have spent time in Southern Italy and traveled all up and down that coast so I can say that the dream became a reality.”

Hispanic role models:

“I have come to appreciate more the everyday role models making a difference in their community one day at a time. Living in such a diverse environment as it is the city of Houston, has given me and my family the opportunity to meet and interact with many successful, fulfilled people whose stories are very inspirational, full of challenges, adversity and positive experiences. I am able to see first-hand the impact these people have on the lives of others through political, altruistic and active support contributions on a regular basis.”

What is it like being Hispanic in the Air Force?

“It is an amazing honor to represent what is a large minority in our country. I love the challenges faced to get to where I am today and hope to inspire others even if in a small way. As a migrant from Mexico at age 17, I remember what a cultural shock it was not only to be still sort of an outsider but then joining the military right after high school as an aircraft mechanic has been an incredible journey. I never dreamed of being a military officer, but I have found purpose and a great sense of accomplishment being part of an ever evolving organization that not only allows but encourages us to achieve so much.”

Do you have any advice for young troops?

“My advice to young and older troops is, trust yourself and do not give up on those dreams.”


Major Suzanne “Susie” Crespo, 924th Air Refueling Squadron.

Crespo was born and raised in Tao Baja, Puerto Rico.

How she got to where she is today:

As a daughter of two Army National Guard parents, the military was a natural next step.  Crespo however chose the Air Force by way of the Air Force Academy.

Hispanic role models:

“My mom was my role model. She had a really positive influence on people and a good reputation. I was really impressed by the way she was able to influence folks but continue to keep her caring nature. She was able to be the person she wanted to be; not necessarily doing it the way others before her did it. Plus she had two kids and managed a family.”

What is it like being Hispanic in the Air Force?

 “The cultural differences are the biggest challenge for me. I’m a lot more touchy-feely than other folks, and I have to hold back in that aspect. I’m also a lot more direct and a lot more open. I’ve had plenty of instances where I have made folks uncomfortable because of that. But that’s not my intent, it’s my culture.”

Do you have any advice for young troops?

“Look for people you respect and admire, ask yourself why, and try to emulate those same traits. You could ask that individual to be a mentor. Also, read. Either with books, or audio books or podcasts. A good place to start if you need some reading material is the MSG library!”

Crespo is also a member of the wing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion team.

“The vision for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is to improve relationships across the entire wing so that we can be open to dialogue.  That’s how we are going to get to acceptance, and celebration of diversity, using everyone’s differences and strengths to become a better team.”

Crespo talks about how reading has helped her to put language to the things she’s felt and dealt with.

“I’ve read that as a person, in order to feel fulfilled, you have to feel like you are enough; you have to feel like you are loved; and you have to feel like you belong. Needing to feel like you belong is a hard one, because we so often change ourselves to fit in, and that doesn’t make you feel good in the long run.”

“What I would really love is to create a sense of belonging at work for everyone; that everyone could come in as themselves and be valued for their individual contributions, for their differences and that they belong.”