2016 Year in Review: Eventful year begins and ends on Wheeler

| December 23, 2016 | 0 Comments
Photo by Sgt. Daniel K. Johnson, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD, Hawaii Ð The 2016 Pro Bowl Draft set-up to announce the NFL Players selected for the Pro Bowl, in front of selected service members and families, Jan. 27.

Photo by Sgt. Daniel K. Johnson, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs
WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD — The 2016 Pro Bowl Draft set-up to announce the NFL Players selected for the Pro Bowl, in front of selected service members and families, Jan. 27.


75th Commemoration, NFL Pro Bowl dominate 2016 at USAG-Hawaii

Jack Wiers
U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii Public Affairs
WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD — For the U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii community, 2016 featured a year of ceremony and celebration while bringing the national spotlight here – twice.
Wheeler opened and closed the year in the media spotlight.

Pearl Harbor/Wheeler Army Airfield survivor Thomas Petso speaks with media after a wreath laying ceremony on Dec. 5, 2016. Petso recounts his time as an infantry Sergeant during the attacks and how it changed his life forever.

Pearl Harbor/Wheeler Army Airfield survivor Thomas Petso speaks with media after a wreath laying ceremony on Dec. 5, 2016. Petso recounts his time as an infantry Sergeant during the attacks and how it changed his life forever.

December 7, remembered
In December more than two-dozen World War II veterans gathered at WAAF for a remembrance ceremony and wreath presentation that was held in a hanger hit during the attacks of Dec. 7, 1941.

Army veteran Thomas Petso, assigned to the 24th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks, was among those who returned to Hawaii for the 75th anniversary. When the attack began on Dec. 7, he was playing football at the airfield when the Japanese planes began heading straight for them.

Planes and hangars burning at Wheeler Army Base during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Dec. 7, 1941.

Planes and hangars burning at Wheeler Army Base during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Dec. 7, 1941.

“They scared the hell out of us. We ran for our lives because they opened fire, and we knew we were in trouble,” Petso said, adding he and the other Soldiers ran back to nearby Schofield Barracks to get their weapons and begin America’s engagement in World War II.

“For those of you who were here this day, this is truly hallowed ground,” said Army Maj. Gen. Christopher G. Cavoli, commander of the 25th Infantry Division and U.S. Army Hawaii.

“Today, 75 years later, the bomb scars are still etched in the tarmac’s concrete, just as the edging of the hot molten shrapnel remains as it splayed out 360 degrees from those explosions,” the general said. “Bullet holes, scars, remain in these buildings; you can see them even today.

“You veterans of the Greatest Generation rallied to defend freedom, three and an half years later, you emerged victorious for us – victorious against the forces of evil in the largest global conflict in history,” Cavoli added.

Photo by Sgt. Kimberly Menzies, 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones, autographs a jersey for a fan, during the 2016 Pro Bowl Draft show at Wheeler Army Airfield, Hawaii, Jan. 27.

Photo by Sgt. Kimberly Menzies, 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones, autographs a jersey for a fan, during the 2016 Pro Bowl Draft show at Wheeler Army Airfield, Hawaii, Jan. 27.

NFL, USAG-HI go “Prime Time”
The year began with USAG-HI and the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade hosting a live telecast of the 2016 Pro Bowl Draft in the hangars of the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, Jan. 27th.

After weeks of preparation, National Football League players and executives arrived at WAAF, along with sports giant ESPN’s television production trucks, producers, directors and talent in toe, for a prime time show that featured vignettes of Wheeler, Schofield Barracks history and current Army life.

Photo by Staff Sgt. Armando R. Limon, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division Team Army displays the 2016 Pro Bowl Beach Stadium Military Challenge trophy together at Queen's Beach in Waikiki, Hawaii, on Jan. 29, 2016. Soldiers from the 25th Infantry Division and 8th Theater Sustainment Command were able to claim victory and the trophy this year.

Photo by Staff Sgt. Armando R. Limon, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division
Team Army displays the 2016 Pro Bowl Beach Stadium Military Challenge trophy together at Queen’s Beach in Waikiki, Hawaii, on Jan. 29, 2016. Soldiers from the 25th Infantry Division and 8th Theater Sustainment Command were able to claim victory and the trophy this year.

Aubrey Kiemnec, Special Events coordinator with the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, was garrison lead coordinator to implement Army support for prime time broadcast.

“There were a variety of garrison counterparts. I think every director within garrison had some piece in the logistics. Everyone from DPW (Directorate of Public Works) to DES (Directorate of Emergency Services) to PAO (Public Affairs Office), and, of course, MWR. Every portion of garrison had a part in pulling this off,” she explained.

Wheeler location
The NFL/ESPN team selected the historical Pearl Harbor hangars located in the 25th CAB as the perfect location to invite service members and families from each branch of service for the event.

“(I watched) the NFL crew set up. I know they hop from city to city, so they’re kind of a mobile platform, which reminded me a bit about setting up Tactical Operations Centers from station to station,” said Staff Sgt. Michael Constantine, 25th ID, G3 Operations, and noncommissioned officer lead of the 25th ID Pro Bowl Draft Soldier Support Detail. “What a great job they did.”

HONOLULU — Mothers and families of fallen Soldiers climb the steps to ceremonial display memorial boots of their loved ones during the Gold Star Mothers and Families Day Ceremony held at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl Crater, Sept. 25.

HONOLULU — Mothers and families of fallen Soldiers climb the steps to ceremonial display memorial boots of their loved ones during the Gold Star Mothers and Families Day Ceremony held at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl Crater, Sept. 25.

HONOLULU Ñ Dylan Warren, is enlisted as an honorary Soldier as part of his wish from the Make-A-Wish Program at the U.S. Army Museum of Hawaii, April 24. Soldiers at Wheeler Army Airfield and with 25th Infantry Division Artillery gave Warren a tour of operations during his weeklong visit.

HONOLULU Ñ Dylan Warren, is enlisted as an honorary Soldier as part of his wish from the Make-A-Wish Program at the U.S. Army Museum of Hawaii, April 24. Soldiers at Wheeler Army Airfield and with 25th Infantry Division Artillery gave Warren a tour of operations during his weeklong visit.

HONOLULU — Mothers and families of fallen Soldiers climb the steps to ceremonial display memorial boots of their loved ones during the Gold Star Mothers and Families Day Ceremony held at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl Crater, Sept. 25.

HONOLULU — Mothers and families of fallen Soldiers climb the steps to ceremonial display memorial boots of their loved ones during the Gold Star Mothers and Families Day Ceremony held at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl Crater, Sept. 25.

A place setting for Felicia LaDuke, a Schofield Barracks Soldier and Iraq War Veteran, sits among several displays during the Sept. 30 signing. LaDuke was beaten and strangled to death by the father of son, Oct. 7, 2005 at Kaena Point.

A place setting for Felicia LaDuke, a Schofield Barracks Soldier and Iraq War Veteran, sits among several displays during the Sept. 30 signing. LaDuke was beaten and strangled to death by the father of son, Oct. 7, 2005 at Kaena Point.

WAHIAWA - Country singer Kellie Pickler rappels down one of the smaller walls at the 25th ID Lightning Academy, Nov. 18, 2016. Pickler and her group watched survival demonstrations at the academy, and rappelled. The singer performed for Marine Corps Base Hawaii on Nov. 17, and at Weyand Field, here, Schofield Barracks, Nov. 18. This is her 10th USO tour.

WAHIAWA – Country singer Kellie Pickler rappels down one of the smaller walls at the 25th ID Lightning Academy, Nov. 18, 2016. Pickler and her group watched survival demonstrations at the academy, and rappelled. The singer performed for Marine Corps Base Hawaii on Nov. 17, and at Weyand Field, here, Schofield Barracks, Nov. 18. This is her 10th USO tour.

In the early days at Kilauea Military Camp, getting around by horse and cart was the normal mode of transportation. The camp was first formed on the island of Hawaii in 1916 out of 52 acres of land and is now available for retirees, service members and civilians to visit.

In the early days at Kilauea Military Camp, getting around by horse and cart was the normal mode of transportation. The camp was first formed on the island of Hawaii in 1916 out of 52 acres of land and is now available for retirees, service members and civilians to visit.

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS - Hundreds gather for free live music, games and more at Weyand Field to celebrate Independence Day weekend, July 3. Food and entertainment were available for two days, ending with one of Oahu's biggest July 4 fireworks shows.

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS – Hundreds gather for free live music, games and more at Weyand Field to celebrate Independence Day weekend, July 3. Food and entertainment were available for two days, ending with one of Oahu’s biggest July 4 fireworks shows.

 

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