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Maj. Anthony Puente

Commander, 49th Maintenance Squadron

What is your nationality?
I'm a 3rd generation Mexican-American.

What type of traditional foods do you like to eat?
I eat Tex-Mex, fajitas and enchiladas. My mom makes the best tamales and my wife makes the best salsa, period!

Who were some of your role models growing up?
My parents, grandparents and my uncle who served and was killed in the Vietnam War.

What are some of the traditions in your culture?
Quienceñeras -- Sweet 15, El Grito-16 Septiembre -- Independence Day -- and Cinco de Mayo.

Do you observe the holidays from your parent(s) country of origin?
As Catholics, our holidays are surrounded by our religion like midnight mass on Easter.

What was it like growing up as a Hispanic?
I grew up in a small west-Texan town, much smaller than Alamogordo. I had friends of all races and hung out with everyone. I spent my summers hoeing cotton and working the fields. It's there that I learned how to work hard and did some pretty long days. I also figured out that I didn't want to do this sort of work all my life so education, as my mom always said, was the best way to get ahead. My mom always pushed the education piece and my dad taught me how to work hard and always pay your bills on time. Those three lessons have been the key to whatever success I might have.