Kohala’s Veterans Day Ceremony

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Yuki Zbytovsky

The Kohala National Guard Alumni honored women veterans at the 1012 Veterans Day Celebration at Hisaoka Gym. Among the honorees were Naomi Laau (Army), Emily DeWitt (Army), Mina Switzer (USMC), Joan Pruchniak (Navy ret), Patricia Champagne (Army).

Yuki Zbytovsky, Reporter

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Kohala Boy Scouts Troop 56 assisted at the Kohala Veterans Day celebration by serving as Color Guard and presenting lei to the women veterans. Kahuliau Ka’ai, Jaden Lewis, and Josiah Adams retire the colors at the end of the ceremony.
women vets
The Kohala National Guard Alumni honored women veterans at the 1012 Veterans Day Celebration at Hisaoka Gym. Among the honorees were Naomi Laau (Army), Emily DeWitt (Army), Mina Switzer (USMC), Joan Pruchniak (Navy ret), Patricia Champagne (Army).
The Kohala National Guard Alumni honored women veterans at the 1012 Veterans Day Celebration at Hisaoka Gym. Among the honorees were Naomi Laau (Army), Emily DeWitt (Army), Mina Switzer (USMC), Joan Pruchniak (Navy ret), Patricia Champagne (Army).

This past Sunday, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, Kohala’s citizens gathered at Kamehameha Park in Hisaoka Gym to commemorate the Veterans who have protected our country. Presented by the Kohala National Guard Alumni, this was the 10th annual ceremony held here. Unlike most Veterans Day commemorations, this time it was a special moment to honor especially the women who have served in the armed forces. Thirty one women veterans attended in the ceremony that day and many more that were not in the program came to pay their respects and to be honored.

With presentations such as the Posting of The Colors executed by the Kohala Boys Scout Troop 56, the talented Kohala Seniors performing three songs and one original called “Thank You Veterans”, and many guest Speakers such as Ms. Patricia Champagne and Lieutenant Colonel Matt Goodman, the short, one-hour program covered many aspects of honoring and celebrating our veterans’ bravery. Even the 3rd graders of Mrs. DeMercer-Breese’s class created a tribute to the veterans as part of their Service Project. The project was called Graph Art U.S Army tanks and helicopters and portrayed the heroic actions of our troops. Afterwards, some ono food was served and people were able to chat with old and young veterans alike.

While interviewing some Veterans at the program, we learned much about what they go through while on duty. Sergeant First Class Roxana Carr said, “The hardest part of the whole trip is leaving home. You never know if you’re coming back.” Sergeant Carr has been deployed in Iraq but now is stationed on Oahu at Fort Shafter for the past two years. Another woman in the armed forces that people in Kohala may be familiar with is Erin Macalma. Erin decided to enlist into the U.S army after graduating from Kohala High School and is now helping to defend our country by serving in Afghanistan.

Thanks to the men and women who are in the armed forces, we live much safer and happier lives here in the United States. We must always remember to thank them for their services not only on Veterans Day, but every day. Without them, life as we know it would definitely not exist. So thank you to all of the troops out there who have risked or are risking their lives out in the field right now. For putting your lives in danger to save ours.