Airmen Celebrate 5th Annual Diversity Event

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Ashleigh Pavelek
  • 169th Fighter Wing
Airmen of the South Carolina National Guard joined together and celebrated cultural diversity here with "A Taste of McEntire" diversity event, Nov. 7.

Airmen gathered to share food and cultural awareness festivities which featured Native-American, Filipino and Creole cuisines.

"It is not about ethnicity," said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Sachet Ratulowski, a scheduler assigned to the 169th Maintenance Operations Flight and president of the 169th Fighter Wing's diversity council. "A Taste of McEntire is about celebrating diverse cultures coming together in the military to accomplish one mission."

The teen and youth dance troop from the Filipino-American Association of Greater Columbia demonstrated the Tinikling Dance, a coordinated dance performed by maneuvering around the striking and sliding of bamboo poles.  

"The food is completely different from my background and what I grew up with, and it is delicious," said Senior Airman Marcus Heyward, assigned to the 169th Security Forces Squadron. 

After tasting flavors from around the world, Col. David Meyer, the 169th Fighter Wing Commander, along with fellow Swamp Fox Airmen, tested their coordination and dancing abilities with the dance troop.  

McEntire's diversity day originated five years ago when Brig. Gen. Scott Williams, former 169th Fighter Wing Commander, and other Air Guard leaders, combined the celebrations of individual cultures held throughout the year into one single day of celebration.

To become a volunteer, or for more information about the Swamp Fox Diversity Council, please contact Ratulowski at 647-8367.