Attack Wing brings the gravy to 2015 Unity Day
By Master Sgt. Christopher Botzum, 111th Attack Wing
/ Published September 08, 2015
HORSHAM AIR GUARD STATION, Pa. -- Members of the 111th Air Operations Group huddled up to serve a taste of Philadelphia, Aug. 27, 2015, during the Pennsylvania National Guard's annual Unity Day gathering, Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania.
"Unity Day was formed eight years ago to highlight the benefits of inclusion and diversity in the Pennsylvania National Guard and the civilian workforce," said Kenneth Vybiral Sr., Pa. Department of Military and Veterans Affairs equal employment manager. "Since its inception, it has continued to grow year after year, with new additions and themes. The event also features cultural food sampling, table displays and cultural entertainment."
Cooks from the 111th ATKW came bearing foods reflecting the Italian population found in the Philadelphia area -such as ziti, meatballs in gravy [locally recognized name for tomato sauce] and roasted pork.
"This is a collaboration of different ethnicities that come together each year to celebrate their heritages," said an animated Master Sgt. Ron "Reinaldo" Peluzzo Jr., 111th Air Operations Group security matters representative, proud of his Italian lineage. "The amount of people the event draws each year grows -- I ran out of roast pork already."
According the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, America was founded on the ideal that from many, we are one, a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. When we draw on the wisdom of a workforce that reflects the population we serve, we are better able to understand and meet the needs of the American people.
Overall, attendance estimates exceeded 250 military and civilian with approximately 40 servers and displayers on hand.
"I see a bright future for Unity Day, as it will continue to grow, with the possibility of the more distant commands hosting their own mini Unity Day celebrations," said Vybiral.
Volunteers from the wing are everyday chefs in an extraordinary event said Peluzzo, a 6-year participant with the affair. He and his son Anthony, who accompanied his father, said they look forward to upcoming years of the Unity Day celebration as a blending of the many cultures that compose America today.