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Photo By Lance Cpl. Thomas Sheng | U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Jonathan Delgado, a supply administration and operations… read more read more
Photo By Lance Cpl. Thomas Sheng | U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Jonathan Delgado, a supply administration and operations specialist with Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Installations Pacific, poses for a studio portrait on Camp Foster, Okinawa, Japan, Aug. 31, 2022. Delgado, born in Las Vegas, NV, represents his Mexican heritage and the Marine Corps during National Hispanic Heritage Month. This annual observance from September 15 to October 15, celebrates the histories, cultures, and contributions of those from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Thomas Sheng)  see less | View Image Page
CAMP FOSTER, OKINAWA, Japan – Every year the Department of Defense recognizes the melting pot in the U.S., dedicating a month to celebrating each unique culture. Although born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Jonathan Delgado grew up heavily influenced by his familial roots from Mexico. His immediate family members were born in Mexico and ensured he was raised with cultural roots ingrained in his heart.

Each year, we observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, to celebrate the histories, cultures, and contributions of those whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. Delgado, a supply operation and administration specialist with Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Installations Pacific, explained how celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month in the Marine Corps enforces the importance of where he and his family are from.

“Ever since I enlisted, my Hispanic roots have been fading slowly, and I don’t speak Spanish as much anymore because of the lack of resources and activities,” said Delgado. “Before enlisting, it was easier to find something every weekend whether it was singing or dancing.”

From a young age, he played soccer, the most watched and played sport in Mexico, and participated in a mariachi band. He said his influences lead him to a love for soccer and mariachi, beloved staples of his Mexican background.

“I 100% miss it. Sometimes I make references or do things that only Spanish speakers could understand,” said Delgado. “Despite that, I still search for hidden gems in Okinawa because I’ve found that some Okinawans learn Spanish and heavily participate in the culture.”

Delgado explained that while Marine Corps life can change who one is on the day-to-day, his roots make him who he is today. Throughout the week, he participates in bachata, salsa dance classes, and soccer with the local community residents and their Spanish-speaking relatives.

Delgado often reflects on the hard times and difficulties his mother endured while building a life for him and his siblings.

“My mom went through many hardships because she was starting a new life for us in the U.S., and my father was hardly ever around,” said Delgado. “She showed us that you must work and persevere through anything.”

His mom instilled an energetic and incessant work ethic that stays with him to this day. Delgado consistently tries to use her past experiences and hardships as motivation in his daily life.

While in the process of immigrating to the U.S., she worked at Subway with a work visa. She also sold homemade food as a side job, and cared for Delgado and his three siblings, all while immigrating to the U.S. Her drive to take care of her kids eventually resulted in a managerial position at her local Subway location, even without speaking English at the time.

Delgado enlisted to financially aid his mother. Today, he works in the supply section of MCIPAC’s Communications Strategy and Operations Combat Visual Information Center, where he works with civilians and Master Labor Contractors to ensure that CVIC has all the necessary resources to complete their mission.

“Cpl. Delgado contributes a lot to our section by staying on top of his duties and always trying to find an easier and better way to do things,” said Teodoro Harris, the supply supervisor and safety technician of MCIPAC CVIC. “He also contributes to the work culture by learning Japanese with our local civilian workers, teaching them Spanish and sharing his culture with them in return.”

Delgado is the platoon sergeant for MCIPAC’s CommStrat Marines and second in command of the supply section. His duties include maintaining properties, ordering supplies, getting quotes, and issuing gear. According to Harris, when Delgado is away from the shop, his absence can be felt among other workers.

“Delgado is an outstanding and motivating Marine who reminds me of my time in the Marine Corps,” said Harris. “He motivates me so much that I want to do physical training again, and I can’t wait to see him as a sergeant of Marines.”

As Delgado aims his sights on earning a meritorious promotion to the rank of sergeant, he holds steadfast to the sacrifices his mother made and the culture he loves.
This work, Faces of MCIPAC: Hispanic Heritage Month – Cpl. Delgado, by LCpl Thomas Sheng, identified by DVIDS, must comply with the restrictions shown on https://www.dvidshub.net/about/copyright.
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