U.S. Army Central honors life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) — Over 200 U.S. Army Soldiers met at Army Central’s Patton Hall on Shaw Air Force Base to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The celebration reiterated Dr. King’s dedication to equality and inclusion.

Retired Colonel Dr. Joseph Dwayne Blanding was the event’s guest speaker. “We recognize the timeless values of courage, truth, justice, compassion, dignity, respect, humility, and service,” says Ret. Col. Dr. Blanding.

He encouraged those in attendance to remember past and present struggles, celebrate accomplishments, and continue to act for people who are discriminated against.

Master Sergeant Gaela Blake attended today’s event.

“(Dr. King) is a prime example of what it looks like to continue to fight for what you believe in. To continue to look ahead. And don’t give up on humanity. Don’t give up on mankind. It’s not always ‘We need to fight as soldiers,’ We believe in fighting, you know? Fighting and driving on, but there’s a time for peace, right? To have those conversations, so that we can continue to push forward as people,” MSG Blake says.

Blake has served in the Army for 22 years. Her grandfather also served in the Army. She says she can see first hand the changes that have come because of Dr. King’s fight for equality.

“We see more color in the ranks. We see more promotions in the ranks. And so we know that there’s an impact there. Seeing more females in the ranks. We see it progressing and getting better every year. And this great thing that we did here today at ARCENT, with General Frank hosting, this is just amazing. That shows our leader –this is important to him. What better way to represent it than what happened today,” says MSG Blake.

Dr. King was born January 15th, 1929. The MLK National Holiday will be celebrated this Monday, January 16th.

“Yea you can punch, but sometimes it’s even stronger to speak in love and drive on that way,” says MSG Blake.

Categories: Midlands Military Matters, News