Skip to main content

Hispanic Contributions and Cultural Influence

Back to the news

  • Published on: October 19, 2021

José J. Huertas, Senior Technology Officer and Project Manager

José J. Huertas has over 21 years of Information Technology (IT) industry experience and has been with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for the past seven years. In his role at VA, he serves as a Senior Technology Officer for the Office of Information and Technology (OIT), where he works to ensure the safety and operability of VA’s systems and networks. Mr. Huertas and his family have dedicated their lives to serving in the military. Mr. Huertas is a Veteran, having served for 23 years in the U.S. Army, and his spouse, son, and daughter are all currently serving on active duty.

Jose Huertas with quote - Specifically, for Hispanic Veterans, access to health information that considers language barriers is crucial. The VA can address this issue by implementing targeted health education programs.

Q. Why do you believe Hispanic Heritage Month is important to recognize?

As a Hispanic, it is important to me to learn from other cultures and backgrounds, just as I want others to learn from our traditions. Hispanics have played an important and diverse role in society, government, and the military. From the battlefields of the Civil War to the War in Afghanistan, 60 Hispanic Medal of Honor recipients have cemented their place in US History. Corporal Joseph H. DeCastro, an 18-year-old flag-bearer from Company India, 19th Massachusetts Infantry, became the first Hispanic-American to be awarded the Medal of Honor. In 2011, Leroy Arthur Petry received the Medal of Honor for his actions in Afghanistan in 2008 during Operation Enduring Freedom. Hispanics make up over 16% of all active-duty military. Uncle Sam’s call to duty is sacred and my entire family has answered the call to serve; my spouse, son, and daughter proudly serve in Active Military Service in the U.S. Army.

Hispanics contribute to many facets of American culture while maintaining their ancestors’ unique customs and traditions. All Americans—regardless of national heritage—can appreciate the vibrant Hispanic American spirit that influences our country’s art, music, food, and values.

Q. What are some of the important issues that disproportionately affect Hispanic and Latinx? How can VA bring awareness or address these issues?

As a Veteran, I have experienced top-notch levels of VA medical care and I’ve witnessed support provided to other Veterans on numerous occasions. Many Hispanic families who come from humble beginnings may not have access to the same medical treatment. The Hispanic community is grappling with concerns such as access to quality education, stable employment, and inexpensive health care. Specifically, for Hispanic Veterans, access to health information that considers language barriers is crucial. The VA can address this issue by implementing targeted health education programs to raise awareness about health issues that disproportionally affect the Hispanic community, including Type II Diabetes. This level of community outreach would ensure that at-risk Hispanic Veterans get connected to the resources they need, benefits, and quality health care they deserve.

Our commitment to digital and IT transformation is shaped by daily dedication to customer service and the close collaboration of our workforce, managers, and leaders. Ready to join us in improving Veterans’ care? Check out all current information and technology career opportunities on DigitalVA. You can also contact VA’s Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer at 512-326-6600, Monday thru Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST or by submitting a resume to VACareers@va.gov.

Share This Story

Page last updated on October 19, 2021

Digital

An official website of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Looking for U.S. government information and services?
Visit USA.gov

We’re here anytime, day or night - 24/7