311th helps with cleanup

| July 31, 2015 | 0 Comments
Soldiers of the 311th Sig. Cmd. and other volunteers pose after the Tantalus cleanup. (Photo by Liana Kim, 311th Signal Command Public Affairs)

Soldiers of the 311th Sig. Cmd. and other volunteers pose after the Tantalus cleanup. (Photo by Liana Kim, 311th Signal Command Public Affairs)

Tyler Ogoshi  
311th Signal Command (Theater)
FORT SHAFTER —  Soldiers from the 311th Signal Command worked together with Spartan Race Hawaii and other community leaders on July 18 to dispose of trash thrown on the sides of Tantalus Hill.

The volunteer Soldiers from the 311th will be competing in Spartan Race Hawaii on Aug. 15 and have been training and preparing themselves for the race. So when Spartan Race Hawaii announced a cleanup event on its Facebook page, the Soldiers volunteered immediately.

“I always try to volunteer …it’s mutually beneficial for all. Soldiers get out of the barracks and get volunteer time, and bring a sense of unity in the community,” said Staff Sgt. Sheena Kerr-Freeman of the 311th G2 Intelligence shop.

Members of the Tantalus Community Association have been conducting quarterly cleanups in the area since 1983-84. The events help maintain various portions of the Honolulu Watershed Forest Preserve.

“We really do appreciate the help,” said Carolyn “Carly” Carley, TCA Work Day chairwoman. “It’s nice to give to the mountain, and it feels good when you drive down the mountain and it’s clean and clear of rubbish.”

Clean-Up-SignKeeping the area clean of debris is important for residents in the Tantalus area, since most of their water comes from a rain catchment system.

“All of our water is filtered by the lava rock, so the water we keep from the water catchment is very little treated,” said JJ Johnson, director of Spartan Race Hawaii and local community leader.

United by a common challenge, community members and outside volunteers worked together as a team to remove heaps of garbage from the grass and weeds that bordered the road. At the end of the day, the group hauled dozens of stuffed garbage bags, each one full of trash picked up off the side of the road.

“I feel accomplished, like I made a difference in the community,” said Sgt. Tania Vargas, a budget analyst for the 311th. “It’s a new feeling for (me and my husband), and it felt really good to give back.”

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Category: Community, Community Relations, Sustainability

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