‘Steel’ Soldiers man Pumpkin Carving Festival

| November 9, 2012 | 0 Comments

Soldiers from Btry. B, 3-7th FAR, “Steel,” 3rd BCT, 25th ID, volunteer for the 3rd annual Pumpkin Carving Festival at Windward Mall, Oct. 27.

Story and photos by
Spc. Jonathan Hinojosa
3rd Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team

KANEOHE — More than 60 Soldiers from Bravo Battery, 3rd Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment, “Steel,” 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, volunteered during the 3rd annual Pumpkin Carving Festival, at Windward Mall, here, Oct. 27.

Now in it’s third year, the Pumpkin Carving Festival helps kick off the fall season.

Each year, two charities are selected as the beneficiaries for the festival. The beneficiaries of the 2012 festival are Keiki O Ka Aina Family Learning Centers and the USO Hawaii.

“One of the purposes for this community event was to create a new tradition for families leading into Halloween and Thanksgiving,” said Billie Gabriel, founder.

The end product of a pumpkin carved by Soldiers from Btry. B, 3-7th FAR, “Steel,” 3rd BCT, 25th ID, sits on display at the 3rd annual Pumpkin Carving Festival, Oct. 27.

1st Sgt. Richard E. Hernandez, Btry. B, 3-7th FAR, who has coordinated volunteering with the event for the past three years, since his days as a platoon sergeant, said he sought to infect a positive atmosphere for his unit.

“This event is by far the best we have done on the island,” said Hernandez.

Hernandez stressed the importance of Soldiers having responsibilities not only to the military, but also to their community.

“(Volunteering) gives Soldiers a sense of responsibility and ownership in the community, and it also gives our community a different perspective on our Soldiers and the military,” Hernandez said. “With deployments dwindling down, it’s time to change our image and reintegrate into the communities.”

Volunteer Soldiers set up pumpkins and carving stations; they organized carving kits for families during the annual event.

“I like to volunteer because I love to see kids happy,” said Spc. Jose Villalona, Btry. B, 3-7th FAR, who is also the battalion’s Soldier of the Month.

Hundreds of family members came to the Pumpkin Carving Festival.

The “Steel” Soldiers have a longstanding history of dedication to others in local communities. You can always find them assisting children at their elementary schools and strengthening local ties and partnerships with neighbors, said a Soldier.

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Category: Community, Community Relations

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