Community says aloha to 25th ID senior leaders

| May 14, 2010 | 0 Comments

Spc. Mahlet Tesfaye
25th Infantry Division Public Affairs

Appreciation event honors military’s history of support in local neighborhoods  

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — The Wahiawa/Whitmore Village Neighborhood Board and the Department of Hawaii Veterans of Foreign Wars recognized four senior officers from the 25th Infantry Division for their outstanding service during a Wahiawa Community Aloha Ceremony, May 5, at the Wahiawa Recreational Center.

“The Aloha Ceremony is a community appreciation event for our military neighbors at Schofield Barracks,” said Ben Acohido, chairman of the neighborhood board. 

George Barlett, the department commander of Hawaii Veterans of Foreign Wars, presented certificates of recognition to Maj. Gen. Bernard Champoux,  commanding general, 25th ID; Brig. Gen. James Nixon, the division’s departing deputy commanding general for operations; Col. Matthew Margotta, the departing U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii commander; and Col. Walter Piatt, the departing commander for the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th ID. 

“I believe strongly that it is organizations like yours that keep the support with the American people for our Soldiers going downrange,” said Nixon, as he thanked the hosts of the Aloha Ceremony and the Wahiawa community for their support. 

Representatives from many organizations in the city of Wahiawa — including the Disabled American Veterans, the Wahiawa Botanical Society, Surfing the Nations, the Wahiawa Rainbow Seniors, the American Legion, the Zonta Club, and the Wahiawa Hospital Auxiliary — were present at the celebration to show their support to the Army and the officers. 

“During the three years I have been here, I have experienced the support the Wahiawa community has shown for Soldiers and family members, especially during the times of deployment,” said Margotta, during the presentation.

According to Acohido, the military at Schofield Barracks has a long history of assisting surrounding Hawaiian neighborhoods where Soldiers and their families live. 

“Our Army neighbors have helped the civilian communities over the years, since they have been on the island,” said Acohido. 

“Presently, the units from 25th ID help out community schools, help with community events, and have helped with our Veterans Day celebration and parade for 47 years,” Acohido explained.

The communities of Wahiawa and the military at Schofield Barracks have a strong partnership that is reinforced by support from both sides, according to Piatt.

“My wife and I got here in 2003 … this has been more than an assignment for me and my family,” said Piatt. “Wahiawa has been a home, and you have truly been our ohana. 

“In that time, I have deployed three times, once to Afghanistan and twice to Iraq,” he said. “You were there when I left, and you were there to greet me when I came back. But, more importantly, you were here to take care of our family when we were off to war … thank you very much.”

Category: Army Community Covenant, Community, Community Relations

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