U.S. Army-Pacific Public Affairs
FORT SHAFTER — The 2012 U.S. Army-Pacific Mana O Ke Koa “Spirit of the Warrior” award was presented to a Waianae resident during the U.S. Army-Pacific Birthday Commemoration at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki, June 15.
Albert Hollis Silva received the award, which recognizes active community leaders who embody the “warrior ethos.”
Military and community leaders from across the Pacific attended the ceremony hosted by Lt. Gen. Francis Wiercinski, commander, USARPAC.
“Army Soldiers have given their lives and so much for this country,” Silva said. “This is such an honor. I’m just a country Jack whose heart is in the bush with nature and animals, but I want to be counted as an (Army) supporter.”
Known as the “giving cowboy” or “paniolo,” Silva has supported the military in Hawaii for more than 40 years. He has served as an advisor to numerous commanders in Hawaii and has played an active role as part of the Waianae Military Civilian Advisory Council for 25 years.
Also, Silva has hosted an annual, no-cost luau for Army personnel and community leaders. The luau recognizes military support to the Waianae coast through school beautification, tutoring students and assisting JROTC cadets.
Silva described Waianae JROTC cadets as “heartwarming.”
“I am looking at our future — Americans ready to serve,” he said.
Silva created a scholarship program for JROTC cadets and supports the JROTC Waianae Adventure Challenge at his Albert Silva Ranch.
“I support them (JROTC cadets) a thousand percent,” he said.
As a member of U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii’s Waianae Community Information Council, Silva provides timely, pertinent and current information about the Army and its programs to the Waianae coast community.
“I was raised to help the people and be good to your community,” Silva said. “My mother put it into me at a young age that you have to give back. With all the pleasures I have received in my lifetime, I know I’ve got to give back to the military and the community.”