Tinker honors Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Kaseyann Cornwall
  • 72nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Tinker Air Force Base recognizes Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May to honor the legacy of the Asian and Pacific Islander community in the U.S.

The history of recognizing Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month dates to 1977, when Congress designated the first ten days of May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week after receiving support from both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. In 1992, Congress passed Public Law 102-450 formally designating May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month, which was later re-named Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and has been celebrated annually since.

Maj. Jessica Dacpano, 552nd Operations Support Squadron deputy of reports and requirements, is the 552nd Wing Project Officer for Asian American Pacific Islander Flight and static display. 

“AAPI Airmen have served in many capacities throughout American history,” said Dacpano. “These events help honor past AAPI members who have served and inspired others to continue to serve. Before the integration of forces in 1948, AAPI members were integral to military service, and we continue to remember and represent ourselves in our participation in the heritage flight, a static display, and a leadership panel.”

“AAPI Special Observation Month not only educates others about our cultures and histories, but it also offers AAPI members an opportunity to feel connected to their respected people and cultures,” said Senior Airman Michael Degarimore, 963rd Airborne Air Control Squadron all-source intelligence analyst.

Degarimore, the 2024 AAPIH Council President and Maj. Jessica Dacpano, 552nd Operations Support Squadron deputy of reports and requirements, and their team spearhead various events to engage and educate the community. These activities aim to increase awareness, foster education, and celebrate the contributions of the AAPI community.

Highlighted events include:

  • AAPI Static Display and Leadership Panel: Scheduled for May 10 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in Dock 2 on the flight line.
  • AAPI Month Celebration: Scheduled for May 22 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Tinker Event Center.

The 72nd Air Base Wing proudly acknowledges the indispensable role of its Asian and Pacific Islander members within Team Tinker. Their daily contributions are vital in enabling the execution of nuclear operations and global strikes, ensuring readiness "anytime, anywhere."

This month-long observance reflects a broader commitment to acknowledging the diverse backgrounds and histories that compose our unified strength.