Tropic Lightning fallen remembered in ceremony

| January 29, 2016 | 0 Comments
Photo by Christine Cabalo, Oahu Publications Cadet Max G. Che with the University of Hawaii's Army ROTC acts as color guard during a remembrance ceremony honoring 1st Lt. Nainoa Hoe at the Mission Training Complex-Hawaii, Jan. 22. Allen Hoe, a Vietnam veteran and 1st Lt. Hoe's father, first carried the flag with him in 1967. He then sent the flag to his son in Mosul, Iraq in 2005 before his son was killed in action.

Cadet Max G. Che, UH Army ROTC, acts as color guard during a remembrance ceremony honoring 1st Lt. Nainoa Hoe at the Mission Training Complex-Hawaii, Jan. 22.

Christine Cabalo
Staff Writer

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — The fragrance of fresh flowers filled the Mission Training Complex-Hawaii, here, as several lei were presented during a remembrance ceremony honoring 1st Lt. Nainoa Hoe, Jan. 22.

1st. Lt. Hoe’s father, Allen Hoe, led the remembrance on the 11th anniversary of his son’s death in 2005.

The younger Hoe was killed in action in Mosul, Iraq, while serving with 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 25th Inf. Division. Since then, the Mission Training Complex-Hawaii has been named in 1st Lt. Hoe’s honor.

Allen Hoe has held an annual remembrance to celebrate his son’s life and all who died during the Iraq War.

“They still live with us as long as we remember them and say their names,” said Hoe, a Vietnam veteran and a civilian aide to the Secretary of the Army.

This year, cadets from the University of Hawaii’s Army ROTC program read the names of all 256 Soldiers from 25th ID who have died during the war. The cadets also assisted with the ceremony, speaking about how 1st Lt. Hoe remains an inspiration to them and acting as the color guard to the American flag he was carrying with him in Iraq.

A gathered crowd renders a salute during a remembrance ceremony honoring 1st Lt. Nainoa Hoe, Jan. 22. The ceremony was held at Mission Training Complex-Hawaii, which was named in 1st Lt. Hoe's honor after he was killed in action.

Soldiers and civilians render a salute honoring 1st Lt. Nainoa Hoe, Jan. 22. The ceremony was held at Mission Training Complex-Hawaii, which was named in 1st Lt. Hoe’s honor after he was killed in action.

The flag has a unique history of traveling with Soldiers. Allen Hoe originally carried it in December of 1967 during his time in Vietnam with Recon Team Snoopy, 2-1st Inf. Regt., 196th Light Inf. Bde. His platoon suffered heavy losses, and his platoon mates urged him to carry the flag until they found the remains of their fallen platoon leader, 1st Lt. Frederick Ransbottom.

When Nainoa Hoe deployed, he asked his father to send him the flag to carry with him in Iraq.

Several officials spoke at the ceremony, including Maj. Gen. Charles A. Flynn, commander, 25th ID, and a Soldier who had served with 1st Lt. Hoe in Iraq.

“He was a great leader,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Steve Marshall, of Sheridan, Wyo., and a member of the visiting unit 16th Combat Aviation Brigade, 7th ID. “He was humble and always led from the front by being an example.”

Marshall’s unit has taken the battle flag with them in AH-64 Apache helicopters currently training in Hawaii. He shared stories about Nainoa Hoe during the funnier parts of their deployment. He also urged the crowd to strive for excellence as his friend had done.

“The fact that you are all here today says so much about his impact on the Army,” Marshall said. “Take notice of what you do today, because (before you know it) tomorrow is 11 years later. There is an impact for what you do today.”

Photo by Christine Cabalo, Oahu Publications Cadet Max G. Che with the University of Hawaii's Army ROTC hands the vintage battle flag to Allen Hoe, whose son was honored in a remembrance ceremony held Jan. 22. Hoe initially carried the flag with him while serving in Vietnam and later his son carried it in Mosul, Iraq until he was killed in action. The flag has also traveled to Afghanistan and recently flew with 16th Combat Aviation Brigade, 7th Infantry Division.

Allen Hoe, whose son was honored in a remembrance ceremony held Jan. 22, accepts back the vintage flag Hoe initially carried with him while serving in Vietnam; his son carried it in Mosul, Iraq, until he was killed in action. The flag has also traveled to Afghanistan and recently flew with 16th Combat Aviation Brigade, 7th Infantry Division.

After reading the names of the fallen Soldiers, Allen Hoe also read the names of the 12 Marines who died in a helicopter collision off the shores of Haleiwa, Jan. 14. Hoe said the recent deaths from Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463 echoes the deaths of other Marines who have similarly died in a CH-53 helicopter when his son did in Iraq.

At the end of the official ceremony, Hoe encouraged the crowd to remember the fallen by taking a moment of reflection. He said his sons occasionally did this with traditional cigars and scotch and brought cigars for the crowd who gathered at the ceremony. He said it was fitting to honor his son’s memory by celebrating his life.

“He was one of the finest young men who desired to serve his country,” Hoe said.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Category: News, Observances

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *