Japanese keiki cherish Hawaii culture with ‘Wolfhound’ families

| August 12, 2016 | 0 Comments
Yuko O’Reilly (far right), four children from the Holy Family Home (middle front), host families and leadership from the 2-27th Inf. Regt. stand before Master Sgt. Hugh O’Reilly’s headstone at the Post Cemetery on Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, on Aug. 1, 2016. Yuko told the tale of how her late husband’s efforts in linking the 27th Inf. Regt. to the Holy Family Home orphanage in 1949 during the Occupation of Japan. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Armando R. Limon, 3rd Brigade Public Affairs Team, 25th Infantry Division)

Yuko O’Reilly (right) and the  children from the Holy Family Home,  host families and leadership from the 2-27th Inf. Regt. visit Master Sgt. Hugh O’Reilly’s headstone at the Schofield Barracks Post Cemetery, Aug. 1. Yuko told the tale of how her late husband’s efforts in linking the Wolfhounds to the Holy Family Home orphanage in 1949. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Armando R. Limon, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division.)

 

Story and photos by Staff Sgt. Armando R. Limon
3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs
25th Infantry Division

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — The sounds of joyful chatter between children and families were shared at the Post Cemetery, here, until a hush arose before Yuko O’Reilly began the tale.

Yuko introduced the children and families to Hugh’s quiet headstone at the rear of the cemetery. The children carefully placed lei onto the noncommissioned officer’s headstone.

Hugh, assigned to 1-27 Inf. Regt. during the Occupation of Japan, brought so much joy and light in a world that once had been ravaged by war and then

Lt. Col. Glen Helberg, commander, 2-27th Inf. Regt., 3rd BCT, 25th ID, watches on as one of the four Japanese children Holy Family Home attempts to dunk him at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, on Aug. 5, 2016. Children from the Holy Family Home in Osaka, Japan stayed with Wolfhound families for an annual two-week visit. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Patrick Kirby, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division)

Still dry, Lt. Col. Glen Helberg, commander, 2-27th Inf. Regt., can only watch as the Japanese keiki from Holy Family Home attempt to dunk him at Schofield Barracks,  Aug. 5. Children from the Holy Family Home in Osaka, Japan stayed with Wolfhound families for an annual two-week visit. (Photo by Spc. Patrick Kirby, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division)

continued the Wolfhound’s decades-long connection to the orphanage.

The children and host families spent their first weekend together seeing the splendors and wonders of what Hawaii has to offer.

During the first week, the two boys, Yosuke Yamaguchi and Kirito Uchikaneku, stayed with 1st Sgt. Jonathan Dyon, Co. C, 1-27th Inf. Regt., 2nd BCT, 25th ID.

“My family had a fantastic weekend after we brought the boys home,” Dyon said.

The Yamaguchi and Uchikaneku wanted to go to the beach, so they went to Ko Olina on the western side of the island, Dyon said.

“On Saturday, we got them hiking shoes, and we took them on a tunnel hike where they had to wear headlamps and everything,” he said. “There was even water in the cave, so they had a blast.”

“I had fun with my family,” said Uchikaneku, speaking through an interpreter.

Uchikaneku also said he enjoyed watching television, eating ice cream and jumping on trampolines at an amusement center.

The Wolfhounds and partners generously had the children and host families visit the Waikiki Aquarium, took lunch at the Outrigger Canoe club, made macadamia nut treats, and built their own ukuleles during their time on Oahu. The children also partook in the Wolfhound regimental picnic, where they tried to plunge Lt. Col. Glen Helberg and Command Sgt. Maj. Ronnie E. Blount, the 2-27th Inf. Regt. leadership, at a dunk tank.

The girls, Mihi Tazawa and Kumiko Yasui, were hosted by Sgt. Justin Lowery, assigned to 2-27th Inf. Regt., 3rd BCT, 25th ID, for the first week.

“It was an awesome experience with the girls,” Lowery said. “The best was going to the Menehune Mac Candy tour. We made our own chocolates at Menehune Mac. Then they saw how they made ukuleles at the Koaloha Ukulele.”

His family had a fun time learning Japanese culture, while Tazawa and Yasui enjoyed learning American culture equally, as well, too, Lowery said.

“They’ve taught me they really like to learn new words in English,” Lowery said. “They also keep a diary every night on their time in Hawaii.”

Tazawa, speaking through an interpreter, said she had fun with the host families and enjoyed the sites, swimming and bowling.

“I had a great time,” Tazawa said. “I’m thankful for the chance to be here with the families.”

 

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