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Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota National Guard hosts Martin Luther King, Jr. Day observation

MLK birthday MINNEAPOLIS, Minn- The Minnesota National Guard hosted Assistant Adjutant General for Air, Brig Gen David Hamlar Jr, and Alex Tittle, Equity Director for the Minnesota Sports Facility Authority, to discuss this year's national Dr Martin Luther King Jr birthday theme of "Remember! Celebrate! Act!" and the importance of community involvement as well as civic engagement The event was at the Northeast Minneapolis National Guard Armory, Jan 10, 2015

Both Hamlar and Tittle relayed their life experiences and career choices to about 100 Soldiers from the Minnesota National Guard's 84th Troop Command at the event At the end of the event the speakers had a seat in front of the audience and spoke with the Soldiers in town hall-type of question-answer session inspiring them to look at things from a different perspective

Both Hamlar and Tittle have lives that are dedicated to service - service to their country and service to others

Hamlar, a surgeon, assistant professor, and family man has also served for more than 26 years As part of the Air Force and on his own, Hamlar has dedicated his time and expertise on humanitarian missions in Ecuador, Guatemala, Belize, China, Vietnam and Russia The emphasis of Hamlar's missions were craniofacial reconstruction, cleft lip and palate repair, free tissue repair and microtia repair

Tittle is responsible for the implementation of the equity program for the Minnesota Sports Authority The program outlines compliance measures regarding workforce and small and disadvantaged businesses on the Minnesota Multi-Purpose Stadium Project "People's Stadium"

Prior to coming to work for the Sports Authority, he served as Director for the Office of Civil Rights for the Department of Transportation and Summit Academy's officer in charge Tittle also served ten years in the US Army as an intelligence analyst, transportation officer and commander

One of the things that the speakers talked about is why it's important to embrace inclusion and diversity, especially in the military

"The demographics in the world and Minnesota are changing," said Hamlar "We will need to change with it to still be representative of the diverse populations that will make up the military in the future"

"We look to the military because they have been the forerunner to inclusion," said Tittle "We have worked together longer than the United States of a whole Regardless of color and gender we have always taken care of each other, we have always had each other's six"

Tittle also explained to the Soldiers why inclusion and equity is important

"When we talk about inclusion it's not just about black, Asian, women or GLBTG; it's about equity, just and fair treatment for everyone," said Tittle "It's our situation and how we deal with that situation and how we deal with that is how historians are going to remember us"

"We talk about remembrance, we talk about celebration, we talk about action," said Tittle "Why do we remember? Because those who don't pay attention or learn from their history are doomed to repeat that history"

"When I think of the type of organizations that Martin Luther King belonged to it reminds me of all the organizations we belong to today," said Hamlar

"MLK day for this country is not just a day for black people, it's a day for people," said Tittle "It's a day to remember what happened, celebrate our accomplishments and to take actionI hope you understand that the purpose of MLK day make is to make everyone want to get involved with changing our society by doing one clear thing - service"

"Act Some thing that you can do in your life to celebrate the life of Dr Martin Luther King," said Hamlar "Go serve Serve your community Serve others"

January 10, 2015
by Staff Sgt Johnny Angelo
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs

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