Story and photos by
Staff Sgt. Armando R. Limon
3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs
25th Infantry Division
WAHIAWA — Cheers erupted from the elementary school students at various physical fitness stations for Fitness Fun Day inside the Hugh Yoshida Stadium at Leilehua High School, here, on March 10.
More than 600 fifth graders from seven elementary schools within the Hawaii State Department of Education’s Leilehua Complex participated in the annual event.
“We have our military partners from Schofield Barracks to come and help the children to make sure that they get to their different groups, to make sure that they’re doing OK, to make sure that they’re staying hydrated and just have a fun day for everyone here,” said Linda Willoughby, a parent community network coordinator for Leilehua High School.
Twenty-six Soldiers assigned to 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, “Wolfhounds,” 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, lent a hand to local members of the community.
“We do try to have the Soldiers as long as they’re here come and help every year,” Willoughby said. “It’s just a fun day for everyone. Those are our military partners; they are usually the first ones we call.”
The Wolfhounds helped at a number of stations, such as those for sit-ups, curl-ups, drumlins and balloon tosses; they also helped to set up and tear down the stations.
Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Candelario, a platoon sergeant assigned to Company H, 2-27th Inf. Regt., said the Soldiers were there to promote fitness and improve students’ understanding of military exercises.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for us to get out and help volunteer throughout the community,” Candelario said.
The Soldiers interacted with the children for nearly three hours. They showed them how to perform proper push-ups and sit-ups, and how to perfect their running stances.
The curious children asked questions about Army life, which the Wolfhounds eagerly answered.
“There were a couple of kids that met us and asked about the Army and the kind of physical fitness that we do,” said Spc. Ramesh Poudel, a native of Lake Charles, Louisiana, and a wheeled-vehicle mechanic assigned to Co. H, 2-27th Inf. Regt. “We explained the exercises we did and gave them some good advice.”
Poudel said he helped at the bend-and-reach station and had fun with the children.
By noon, the fifth graders and Soldiers bid each other a goodbye with lots of fond memories of Fitness Fun Day 2017.
“I think it was a great opportunity for everyone,” Willoughby said. “I think it brought the military and community together, as we should as one ohana.’”