GARIFUNA VETERANS OF AMERICA Organization Presents its Second Annual Core Values Awards Ceremony on SUNDAY November 9th 2014 in the Bronx

 

 

Copyright 2014 by Teofilo Colon Jr.  (a.k.a. “Tio Teo” or “Teofilo Campeon”) All Rights Reserved.  Telephone: (646) 961-3674.

Twitter:  @beinggarifuna

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/beinggarifuna

Instagram: http://instagram.com/beinggarifuna_com

If you find the BEING GARIFUNA Website helpful and useful, please DONATE.  Every dollar donated helps keep this website in operation.  Donations are accepted via the PAYPAL website so your potential donations are SAFE and SECURE.

Bronx, New York — On SUNDAY, November 9th 2014 in the Bronx; the Garifuna Veterans of America organization will be honoring American Veterans of Garifuna Descent in their Second Annual Core Values Awards Ceremony.

Like at last year’s event, The Garifuna Veterans of America will highlight Garinagu (plural for Garifuna) who have served in the United States Military and invite the public at large to this FREE and OPEN to the public event.  1

Organizers of the Garifuna Veterans of America Core Values Awards Ceremony have expressed that they hope to showcase Garinagu (plural for Garifuna) who have served and continue to serve in the United States Armed Forces.

Honorees at this year’s Garifuna Veterans of America Core Values Awards Ceremony include:

  • Estacy Porter, Capt Nurse Corp, US Army
  • Lier Maybeth, Ensign, US Navy
  • Leonso Fernandez, Sergeant First Class US Army (retired)
  • Roy Cornelio Guity Nunez, SP4 US Army, (Deceased)
  • Nuvia Robertson, SP4 US Army, (Deceased)

The Garifuna Veterans of America Second Annual Core Values Awards will take place at the:

James J. Peters VA Medical Center (Bronx Veterans Hospital)

130 W. Kingsbridge Road

Room 3D-22

Bronx, NY 10468

For those DRIVING, Parking is FREE!!!

Subway:

4 Train to Kingsbridge Road Subway Stop

B or D Train to Kingsbridge Road Subway Stop

Captain Estacy Porter

Captain Estacy Porter is from the Bronx, New York.  She was born to Garifuna Parents from the village of Bajamar, Honduras.  She is married to Mr. Demarlo Porter (Government Contractor) and has four children.  Captain Porter earned her Bachelor of Science Degree from Old Dominion University through the Army Enlisted Commissioning Program.

Captain Estacy Porter.

Captain Estacy Porter.

Prior to commissioning as a nurse, she enlisted in October 1995 as a Chemical Operation Specialist. Her last assignment as an enlisted Soldier was as an instructor for the Department of Defense Toxic Agent Facility. As an Army Nurse she initially served as a 66H-Medical Surgical Nurse at Dwight D. Eisenhower Medical Center.  During that assignment she served as charge nurse and staff development officer.  Following these assignments she specialized as a Public Health Nurse by attending the Preventative Medicine course at the AMEDD Center and School in Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas.  As a Public Health Nurse, her assignments were progressive and included Staff Public Health Nurse, 121st Combat Support Hospital, Public Health Nurse OIC, 168th Multifunctional Battalion, Staff Health Nurse, Martin Army Community Hospital.  She is currently serving as the Chief Public Health Nurse and Assistant S3 to the 14th Combat Support Hospital.

Captain Estacy Porter’s awards, decorations and badges include the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, and Good Conduct Medal, Global War on Terrorism Army Service Ribbon, Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development ribbon and many others.

Her military education includes the Rear Detachment Leader Course, Instructor Trainer Course, AMED Officer Basic Course, Preventive Medicine Course, Combative Level 1 Course and the Clinical Nurse O1C Course.  She earned a Masters of Science Degree in Nursing Education from Liberty University.  Captain Porter was recently selected by the Army Long Term Health and Education (LTHET) Program to pursue her Doctor of Nursing Practice in Public Health/Community Health Nurse Practitioner where she will be attending school at Binghamton University beginning Fall of 2014.

Captain Porter was recently selected by the American Nurses Credentialing Center to be a standard setting panel member for the newly developed Advance Public Health Exam.  While attending Old Dominion University, she received the community health award for funding the nursing education of two Garifuna girls from the village of Bajamar, Honduras.  She aims to encourage young Garifuna Women to pursue education, excel and give back to the community.  She maintains national certification as an Advance Public Health Nurse and Ambulatory Care Nurse.  She is a member of the ROCKs, Army Nurse Corp Association (ANCA), American Public Health Association (APHA), Chi Eta Phi and the Association of the United States Army (AUSA).

If you find the BEING GARIFUNA Website helpful and useful, please DONATE.  Every dollar donated helps keep this website in operation.  Donations are accepted via the PAYPAL website so your potential donations are SAFE and SECURE.

Petty Officer First Class Air Traffic Controller Lier A. Maybeth Barrios

Born the second of four children, Mr. Lier A. Maybeth Barrios is from La Lima, Honduras.  He was raised between the boundaries of La Lima, Honduras and Sambo Creek, Honduras under many substandard conditions.  Because of this, his mother decided to move the family to the United States of America.

Shortly after graduating from High School, Mr. Barrios joined the United States Navy.   He began his military service at Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Illinois, where he was selected to be the Division’s Master-At-Arms.  Shortly after Boot Camp, Petty Officer Lier  Maybeth Barrios attended two weeks of Seamanship Apprentice Training and was then off to join the Fleet.

Lier A. Maybeth Barrios

Lier A. Maybeth Barrios

In August of 2000, he reported to his first duty assignment at USS Nassau (LDA-1) which was preparing for a six month scheduled deployment.  He was afforded the opportunity to attend AC “A” School in Pensacola Florida, where he received his air traffic control certification.  After completing AC “A” School, he received an order to go to NAS Brunswick, Maine.  Within two years of being assigned to NAS Brunswick, AC1 Maybeth Barrios completed his Air Traffic Control training track and advanced to Second Class Petty Officer.  He also obtained the designation of Assistant Operations Duty Officer, a title typically given to senior enlisted soldiers.

 

Sergeant First Class, Leonso Francisco Fernandez

Originally from Santa Fe, Colon, Honduras, Central America and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Mr. Fernandez noted, “Growing up in New York City in the mid-70s, there was very little positive images.  The few relatives we had that had been drafted during the Vietnam era spoke very little of their experiences in the armed forces.”

With few options and no job experience, Mr. Fernandez followed the example of another relative who had enlisted in the United States Marine Corp and took the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery Test at the age of seventeen.  The United States had just invaded Grenada upon seeing the soldiers and comparing them to the Green Berets he had met in Trujillo, Honduras; Sergeant Fernandez was sold on the Army and wanted to do what they did.

Sergeant Leonardo Francisco Fernandez.

Sergeant Leonardo Francisco Fernandez.

Sergeant Fernandez enlisted and entered active duty in February of 1984 when he was seventeen and with his parents’ consent.  Sergeant Fernandez military career is filled with stories from stops across the country, including stints at Fort Dix, Tank Hill at Fort Jackson, South Carolina; Fort Gordon, Georgia; Fayetteville, North Carolina; and Panama.

SP4 Roy Cornelio Guity-Nunez

A Vietnam War Veteran, Mr. Roy Cornelio Guity-Nunez was a recipient of several service awards including the Bronze Service Star medals.  He was active and a great contributor of the development of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in the United States.  He was Founder and CEO of the Institute of Training and Development; a National Organization that provided the training and environment for the establishment of small and large Hispanic business nationally and internationally.

Roy Cornelio Guity Nunez

Roy Cornelio Guity Nunez

A Graduate of the University of the Pacific, Mr. Roy Cornelio Guity-Nunez received multiple Masters Degrees in International Business from the Thunderbird School of Management and other prestigious institutions of Higher learning before and after his Vietnam War experience. He was the President of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Stockton, California and received the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Advocate for Small Business Award.   Mr. Roy Cornelio Guity-Nunez passed away on October 22nd 2013 in California.

SP4 Nuvia Robertson

Mrs. Nuvia Robertson is from Santa Fe, Honduras and joined the United States Army in November of 1984 through the Delayed Entry program and served until 1992.  During her tenure in the Military, Mrs. Nuvia Robertson earned the rank of Specialist 4 (SP4) as well as an Army Commendation Medal (ARCOM), An Army Achievement Medal Third Oak Leaf Cluster (AAM), Good Conduct Medal, An Army Service Ribbon An Army Lapel Button as well as other certificates of achievement.

Nuvia Robertson

Nuvia Robertson

At this event, Recruiters from each branch of the United States Armed Forces are scheduled  to be present with information on benefits designed specifically for Veterans.   Local politicians as well as the Consul Generals from the countries of Honduras, Guatemala and Belize have been invited and hopefully will be present.

Edson Arzu of The Garifuna Veterans of America.  Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr.  All Rights Reserved.

Edson Arzu of The Garifuna Veterans of America. Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr. All Rights Reserved.

Garifuna American Edson Arzu founded The Garifuna Veterans of America a few years ago.   With this group, Mr. Edson Arzu aims to educate and notify American veterans of Garifuna descent as to the benefits and services due to them as a result of their service in the military of The United States of America.  He also hopes to have this group serve as a network for American veterans of Garifuna descent, that way communication amongst members can help forward information about potential employment opportunities to veterans and their families.

Mr. Edson Arzu has been at work on this project since I first met him at a Garifuna Coalition Roundtable Meeting in 2012.    Mr. Edson Arzu himself is a Garifuna American veteran who served in the Navy from 2001 through 2009.  He was born in Puerto Barrios, Guatemala and has been in the United States of America for twenty years.

This event can also help further simple identification of American Veterans of Garifuna Descent.  There isn’t a Garifuna category in the applications that Garinagu fill out when applying to be a part of the United States Armed Forces.  Often when asked to describe themselves, they’d mark Black or Hispanic which isn’t very clear when it comes to Garifuna people.

For example, I recently was able to look at a list of 14 merchant marines who were killed in U-boats during World War 2.  Click here to look at this list of merchant marines who were killed in U-boats during World War II.   They are identified by name and the ship that they served on.  They are also identified as Honduran.  Now of these Hondurans, how many were Garifuna?  Not seeing any photos, I’d guess that Cyril Bodden, Lazarus Espinoza, Matri Martinez, Adolfo Mejia, Luis Mejia and Herberto Zuniga are perhaps of Garifuna descent.  But not having any photos or access to personal accounts, it’s hard to say.  This hints at some of the challenges anyone doing research comes across when trying to identify soldiers of Garifuna descent.   2

This event is FREE and open to the public at large.  Light refreshments will be served.

Click here to read an article about Garifuna people serving in the United States Coast Guard.  It was published in June 2013 in commemoration of Caribbean American Heritage Month. Officers profiled in the article include Master Chief Petty Officer George D. Lopez, Petty Officer 1st Class Cornelio M. Herrera and Petty Officer 1st Class Georgette Lopez.

Please like and share this posting with anyone who may be interested in it.

If you find the BEING GARIFUNA Website helpful and useful, please DONATE.  Every dollar donated helps keep this website in operation.  Donations are accepted via the PAYPAL website so your potential donations are SAFE and SECURE.

ABOUT The Garifuna People


The Garifuna people are people of African descent (in other words, Black people) whose ancestry can be traced to Africans mixing with Carib Indians and Arawak Indians on the Eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent.  From this fusion of race and ethnicities in St. Vincent Island, a distinct culture and language arose.  They are noted for being one of the few (only?) peoples of African descent (again, in other words, Black people) in the Americas to have maintained aspects of their ancestral culture and full use of their ancestral language for everyday use over the course of hundreds of years.

After being defeated in war with the British on St. Vincent in 1796; 1004 men, 1779 women and 1,555 children for a total of 4,338 people (mostly Black Caribs, as the Garifuna people were then known) were captured and taken to Baliceaux, a small island, a rock, basically, off the coast of St. Vincent.  This took place from July 1796 through February/March 1797.  About 2,000 Garifunas died of a mysterious and very infectious fever while living on Baliceaux awaiting their fate.   3

In early March 1797, the remaining Garifunas were loaded onto the HMS Experiment and other ships.  Once they were rounded up, the convoy were taken to a Bequia, which is another island off the coast of St. Vincent. They proceeded to go to Grenada to get water, then Jamaica for refueling, then finally Roatan, Honduras, arriving on April 12th 1797.

Finding much of Roatan unliveable, the Garifuna people petitioned officials representing Spain and it’s government (which controlled much of Central America at the time) to be allowed to move to the Honduran mainland.  Upon being allowed to move to the Honduran mainland, the Garifunas settled many towns and villages along the Caribean coast of Honduras.  They also migrated to the neighboring countries of Guatemala, Belize (then known as British Honduras) and Nicaragua over the years.

If you find the BEING GARIFUNA Website helpful and useful, please DONATE. Every dollar donated helps keep this website in operation.  Donations are accepted through the PAYPAL website, so potential donations are SAFE and SECURE. 


 

Garifuna Veterans of America presents its Second Annual Core Values Awards Ceremony in the Bronx on SUNDAY, November 9th 2014.

Garifuna Veterans of America presents its Second Annual Core Values Awards Ceremony in the Bronx on SUNDAY, November 9th 2014.

Notes:

  1. http://www.beinggarifuna.com/blog/2013/11/02/american-veterans-of-garifuna-descent-to-be-honored-in-the-bronx-on-sunday-november-10th-2013/
  2. http://www.beinggarifuna.com/blog/2013/05/27/garifuna-american-military-man-edson-arzu-is-looking-for-american-veterans-of-garifuna-descent/
  3. Nancie L. Gonzalez, “Sojourners of the Caribbean: Ethnogenesis and Ethnohistory of the Garifuna” pg. 21

Comments

comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Website