2IBCT ‘Warriors’ spread volunteer spirit on Waianae Coast

| June 22, 2017 | 0 Comments

Soldiers, spouses, family members of 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Hawaii Army BOSS and Waianae community members pose for a group photo after picking up roughly 1,000 pounds of trash at Keawaula Beach. Beach cleanups show that volunteering and giving back to the community is an important part of the Warrior Brigade spirit.

Story and photos by
1st Lt. Jordan Linder
2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team
25th Infantry Division Public Affairs

Soldiers, spouses, family members of 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team and Waianae community members remove trash along the roadside of Keawuala Beach on June 10.

WAIANAE — Many challenges occur when planning volunteer events – finding the time and resources, pulling together multiple groups, last-minute changes due to weather or traffic. However, when an event comes together, the positive and long lasting impact makes it worth it.

On June 10, Soldiers and family members of the 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, “Warrior Brigade,” 25th Infantry Division, participated in a cleanup of Keawaula Beach, also known as Yokohama Bay.

They were joined by Waianae High School JROTC Cadets, the Waianae Military Civilian Advisory Council (WMCAC), the Hawaii Army Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers (BOSS) and the Protectors of Paradise, a local volunteer group dedicated to keeping beaches on the Waianae Coast clean.

“It’s all about coming together, regardless of our differences, and making our beaches, our environment, safe for not just us, but for our keiki,” said Micah Doane from Protectors of Paradise.
This is the third beach cleanup that the Warrior Brigade has planned and participated in with the Protectors of Paradise. The two previous cleanups were at Makua Beach. However, this event included more members from the Waianae community.

“Events like these are important for local community members because it gives us an opportunity to volunteer, to keep our homes healthy and protect our natural environment,” said Genessa Stone, a senior and a JROTC cadet at Waianae High School.

Racing against heavy rain showers, which developed within just an hour of starting the beach cleanup, volunteers managed to clear roughly 1,000 pounds of trash.

Soldiers, spouses, family members of 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Hawaii Army BOSS and Waianae remove trash from Keawaula Beach on June 10.

“The event was a great opportunity to get out and partner with the community, to help clean up the beaches we all share and enjoy. Volunteering is part of the Warrior Brigade spirit,” said Capt. James Severin, an air defense officer assigned to 2IBCT.

“Trash isn’t always in plain sight either. From glass in the sand to trash thrown in bushes, though the beach appeared clean, a lot of trash needed to be removed,” he explained.

Soldiers from Hawaii Army BOSS also came out to lend a helping hand.

“This is a great event for Soldiers within the BOSS program to get out of the barracks, help make a difference and give back to the local community,” said Spc. Justin Fender, a member of the BOSS program.

Spouses and family members, including many young children, made up the majority of the crowd.

“My family and I always enjoy the beach. We frequently go to the beaches here in the area, so this is a great way to show our Warrior Ohana appreciation for what Oahu has to offer,” said Maj. Kwame Boateng, executive officer for the Warrior Brigade.

Keawaula Beach is remote and full of wildlife; cleanups are needed to maintain the local ecosystem.
2IBCT also volunteers in 13 local Oahu schools, having formal partnerships and offering services like mentoring, tutoring and campus beautification.

Emily Thompson, a spouse of a Soldier in the Warrior Brigade, explained that the event was a “great chance to give back and say thank you to a community that welcomes us here. Sometimes we forget the importance of giving time to something bigger than ourselves. That’s why volunteering is important.”

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Category: Community

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