Hispanic Heritage Month highlight: Ms. Garcia

SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --

Marta Garcia, 82nd Aerospace Medicine Squadron dental assistant expanded function, is a native of Burkburnett, Texas, and has been a civil service employee for 17 years. Garcia was chosen by her peers to be highlighted for outstanding performance and represents Hispanic culture during Hispanic Heritage Month at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, Oct. 11, 2017.

 

Most significant accomplishments:

 

“I raised both my daughters by myself while working two jobs and I am very proud of them,” said Garcia. “I taught them to believe in God, work hard and always do the right thing. We were always involved in our Catholic faith.”

 

Airman’s story:

 

“My father is from McAllen, Texas, with ancestors from Mexico and France,” she said. “My Grandfather Cayetano Garcia served in the U.S. Army in 1950. He received a medal for heroism; the Silver Star Medal with Valor from General Douglas MacArthur, commander of the U.S. Armed Forces in the Far East. The heroic action of my Grandfather was for rallying his men to attack an enemy held hill in Korea while under fire in crossing the Naktong River. This led to the withdrawal of enemy troops and enabled his platoon to advance with minimum casualties.”

 

“My father met my mother when he was station at Torrejon Air Base in Madrid, Spain,” Garcia said. “They moved to Hahn Air Base, Germany where my twin sister Maria and I were born. From there we moved to Amarillo, Texas where my brother Javier was born. My father then went to Pleiku Air Base, in Vietnam. After 23 years, he retired and we moved to Sheppard.”

 

“I graduated from Burkburnett High School in May, 1983,” Garcia said. “I enrolled full time to Vernon Regional Junior College and graduated in May, 1987.”

 

“I started my dental assistant career at Eielson Air Force Base in September, 1995, and worked in private practice at Fairbanks and the North Pole for six years from February, 1995, to May, 2000.”

 

“I traveled from Burkburnett to Ft. Sill every day for 22 months, working two jobs and caring for my daughters,” she said. “We were involved with school activities such as Ashley in Honor Society and Julia in Burkburnett Boomtown Babies. In November, 2005, I transferred to the Sheppard Dental clinic and have been here ever since.”

 

“I am very involved with the Sacred Heart Catholic Church especially with Christ Renews His Parish (CRHP) groups and Outreach CRHP to St. Frances and St. John's English and Spanish Groups,” Garcia said. “I love to volunteer in different events such as January's Kiwanis pancake feast and August Hotter’n Hell bike race.”

 

“I love to travel to places like Spain including Madrid, Toledo, Segovia, Barcelona and San Leonardo de Vague where my family originated from,” she said. “I also love to travel to Hawaii, Virginia and Guam where Ashley and Zach were stationed at Andersen Air Force Base.”

 

“I have been blessed to have grown up with three cultures: American, Mexican but mainly European Castilian Spanish,” Garcia said. “I speak, read and write in both English and Spanish. Spanish and Mexican are very different Hispanic cultures and styles, but they still have the same beliefs: believe in God, family and country.

 

“All my life all I have known this military life,” she said. “I have been blessed these 51 years to be able to meet folks from all different ways of life. It's amazing to get to know them, get to know their different cultures, traditions, beliefs and their different aspects of life. What is so amazing even though all of us come from different life styles, is that we are able to come together, work together as a team like a band of brothers and sisters and take care of our patients and others to complete our tasks and mission.”

 

“My life is based in faith in God, family and country,” Garcia said. “I am extremely blessed and privileged to serve my country as a dental assistant for the past 23 years. I love to teach the young dental assistants to pass on what I know to help their dental careers. I am flexible and adapt to new changes to complete my tasks and mission. I am learning every day to apply something new to my dental assistant skills. But most importantly to demonstrate integrity, service and excellence.”

 

Supervisor comments:

 

“Garcia is a very knowledgeable and dedicated dental assistant,” said Master Sgt. Deborah Garza, clinical element NCO in charge. “She takes tremendous pride in her work. Whenever she is given a task or duty she will get it done thoroughly and accurately. Her clinical duties involve assisting the dentist, taking radiographic images, and making and confirming appointments. Garcia is also one of our broken appointment monitors. She is the alternate monitor for our Airmen in Training and overseas our dental clearance program. Finally, she helps out at the reception desk filing and pulling records, out-processing and in-processing records, and checking in patients. Because of her experience and training she is a versatile assistant who can be utilized in a variety ways.”