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Washington National Guard continues educating their ranks on diversity

The Washington National Guard will host their 2nd annual Diversity Matters Day on Camp Murray

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Understanding one another's culture and appreciating their diversity has remained a staple of the American framework, but the level of diversity becomes even more prevalent for this nation's servicemembers stationed all across the globe.

"This diversity is so imperative to make us successful worldwide and helps keep us stay fresh in our ways of thinking," said the Washington State EEO Manager, Command Sgt. Major Abby West.

The Washington National Guard will continue their annual immersion into the many diversities and cultures that make up their ranks.

"In keeping with sharing information and raising awareness about cultural differences, the National Guard has planned an annual Diversity Matters Day event," said West.  "The purpose is to let soldiers/airmen from the Washington National Guard the opportunity to share with others the diversity that makes up our organization."

This year's theme for the Diversity Matters Day event for servicemembers, held on Camp Murray in Building 33 from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m., Sept. 14, will be World Exploration.

"We look forward to cultural dancing, which is provided by the Asian/Pacific Islander Cultural Center in Tacoma, free food sampling and even educational booths," said West.

With a plethora of free food, cultural dance presentations and numerous informational booths, this year's event will continue to grow from years past.

"At this year's event, there will be passport for people to get stickers as they ask educational questions of the various host country's tables," said West.

The excitement level for this annual event continues to grow, and it's starting from the top.

"I am very excited about this event because it gives people a chance to get to know the diverse background of our workforce, and a chance to eat diverse food, as well as to educate others," said West.

Last year's event saw 16 tables, profiling numerous countries represented by various units/organizational members, whom remained eager to share their stories with their fellow servicemembers.

Presenting participants varied from servicemembers, military family members, Washington Military Department employees and other various volunteers.

Competition continues to grow for the event's top spot, as every attendee is encouraged to vote on their favorite booth.

"The competition for best table is being stepped up this year with Guam trying to hold onto their top spot (from last year)!" said West.

If interested in hosting a table and/or to get any questions or special requests answered, please contact CSM Abby West at 253.512.8864 or

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