During Hispanic Heritage Month from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, the Department of Defense highlights several service members and focuses on the contributions and accomplishments of those with Hispanic and Latin-American heritage who have committed to their service to the defense of the nation and community.
As of Oct. 31, 2020, according to the Air Force Personnel Center, only 15.6% of the Air Force identifies as Hispanic or Latino. Air National Guard Lt. Col. Daisy Ortiz, a health service administrator assigned to the 108th Medical Group, counts herself amongst that number.
Ortiz is a first generation Colombian American who grew up in New Jersey. Her father came to the United States at the age of 17 and married her mother, who was still in Colombia, shortly after. After a long process of immigration and legal paperwork, Ortiz’s mother was allowed to live in the U.S. and both of her parents eventually became U.S. citizens.