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SCANG Celebrates Diversity Day

U.S. Airmen, assigned to the 169th Fighter Wing at McEntire Joint National Guard Base of the South Carolina Air National Guard, celebrate Diversity Day by eating a variety of ethnic foods and sharing cultural camaraderie, Oct. 4, 2014. Diversity Day combines the Department of Defense's monthly diversity programs into a one day event for guardsmen to learn about other cultures and to celebrate diversity. (U.S. Air National Guard by photo by Tech. Sgt. Jorge Intriago/Released)

U.S. Airmen, assigned to the 169th Fighter Wing at McEntire Joint National Guard Base of the South Carolina Air National Guard, celebrate Diversity Day by eating a variety of ethnic foods and sharing cultural camaraderie, Oct. 4, 2014. Diversity Day combines the Department of Defense's monthly diversity programs into a one day event for guardsmen to learn about other cultures and to celebrate diversity. (U.S. Air National Guard by photo by Tech. Sgt. Jorge Intriago/Released)

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Jim Chow, the Air National Guard Assistant to the Surgeon General for policy and operation of the USAF, spoke on diversity and the ideals of being an American and giving back to society. Airmen, assigned to the 169th Fighter Wing at McEntire Joint National Guard Base of the South Carolina Air National Guard, celebrate Diversity Day by eating a variety of ethnic foods and sharing cultural camaraderie, Oct. 4, 2014. Diversity Day combines the Department of Defense's monthly diversity programs into a one day event for guardsmen to learn about other cultures and to celebrate diversity. (U.S. Air National Guard by photo by Tech. Sgt. Jorge Intriago/Released)

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Jim Chow, the Air National Guard Assistant to the Surgeon General for policy and operation of the USAF, spoke on diversity and the ideals of being an American and giving back to society. Airmen, assigned to the 169th Fighter Wing at McEntire Joint National Guard Base of the South Carolina Air National Guard, celebrate Diversity Day by eating a variety of ethnic foods and sharing cultural camaraderie, Oct. 4, 2014. Diversity Day combines the Department of Defense's monthly diversity programs into a one day event for guardsmen to learn about other cultures and to celebrate diversity. (U.S. Air National Guard by photo by Tech. Sgt. Jorge Intriago/Released)

U.S. Airmen, assigned to the 169th Fighter Wing at McEntire Joint National Guard Base of the South Carolina Air National Guard, celebrate Diversity Day by eating a variety of ethnic foods and sharing cultural camaraderie, Oct. 4, 2014. Diversity Day combines the Department of Defense's monthly diversity programs into a one day event for guardsmen to learn about other cultures and to celebrate diversity. (U.S. Air National Guard by photo by Tech. Sgt. Jorge Intriago/Released)

U.S. Airmen, assigned to the 169th Fighter Wing at McEntire Joint National Guard Base of the South Carolina Air National Guard, celebrate Diversity Day by eating a variety of ethnic foods and sharing cultural camaraderie, Oct. 4, 2014. Diversity Day combines the Department of Defense's monthly diversity programs into a one day event for guardsmen to learn about other cultures and to celebrate diversity. (U.S. Air National Guard by photo by Tech. Sgt. Jorge Intriago/Released)

U.S. Airmen, assigned to the 169th Fighter Wing at McEntire Joint National Guard Base of the South Carolina Air National Guard, celebrate Diversity Day by eating a variety of ethnic foods and sharing cultural camaraderie, Oct. 4, 2014. Diversity Day combines the Department of Defense's monthly diversity programs into a one day event for guardsmen to learn about other cultures and to celebrate diversity. (U.S. Air National Guard by photo by Tech. Sgt. Jorge Intriago/Released)

U.S. Airmen, assigned to the 169th Fighter Wing at McEntire Joint National Guard Base of the South Carolina Air National Guard, celebrate Diversity Day by eating a variety of ethnic foods and sharing cultural camaraderie, Oct. 4, 2014. Diversity Day combines the Department of Defense's monthly diversity programs into a one day event for guardsmen to learn about other cultures and to celebrate diversity. (U.S. Air National Guard by photo by Tech. Sgt. Jorge Intriago/Released)

U.S. Airmen, assigned to the 169th Fighter Wing at McEntire Joint National Guard Base of the South Carolina Air National Guard, celebrate Diversity Day by eating a variety of ethnic foods and sharing cultural camaraderie, Oct. 4, 2014. Diversity Day combines the Department of Defense's monthly diversity programs into a one day event for guardsmen to learn about other cultures and to celebrate diversity. (U.S. Air National Guard by photo by Tech. Sgt. Jorge Intriago/Released)

U.S. Airmen, assigned to the 169th Fighter Wing at McEntire Joint National Guard Base of the South Carolina Air National Guard, celebrate Diversity Day by eating a variety of ethnic foods and sharing cultural camaraderie, Oct. 4, 2014. Diversity Day combines the Department of Defense's monthly diversity programs into a one day event for guardsmen to learn about other cultures and to celebrate diversity. (U.S. Air National Guard by photo by Tech. Sgt. Jorge Intriago/Released)

MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. -- Airmen of the South Carolina Air National Guard joined together here to celebrate different cultures during "A Taste of McEntire Diversity Day" Oct. 4.

Airmen gathered for food and festivities with cuisines native to Asian-American and African-American and Hispanic cultures. Brig. Gen. Jim Chow, the Air National Guard Assistant to the Surgeon General for policy and operation of the United States Air Force, spoke on diversity and the ideals of being an American and giving back.  

"Being able to celebrate diversity in this country is a privilege," Chow told the gathered crowd. "It is the cornerstone of this country. Wearing the uniform makes us one."

The Taste of Diversity Day reinforces the idea of the military as a melting pot of Americans.

"We are a military comprised of different types of cultures, different types of people," said Tech. Sgt. Thomas Edmunds, an electronics countermeasures journeyman with the 169th Maintenance Squadron. "It's nice to know who we are working with and where they come from to better understand them as people and as a culture."

McEntire's diversity day originated four years ago when Brig. Gen. Scott Williams, and other Air Guard leaders, combined the celebrations of individual cultures held throughout the year into one single day to celebrate all cultures represented on base.

"Often, when we think of diversity, we think nationality, ethnicity and culture," said Col. David Meyer, the 169th Fighter Wing commander.  "The thing I love about the military is the experiences that everyone has about where they come from."

Meyer added the diversity of cultures and its perspective have contributed greatly to the development of McEntire's current leadership. He encouraged all Airmen to get to know one another and understand each other.