2IBCT Gimlets help bring holiday cheer to Waianae

| December 6, 2017 | 0 Comments

WAIANAE — A Soldier with 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division passes out candy to keiki along the route of the Waianae Coast Holiday Parade in downtown Waianae, on Dec. 2, 2017. The parade aims at building trust and a sense of community with the military and na kanaka of Waianae. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. David N. Beckstrom, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office)

Story and photos by
Staff Sgt. David N. Beckstrom
2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team
25th Infantry Division Public Affairs

WAIANAE — Soldiers with 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat team, 25th Infantry Division brought smiles to the community of Waianae, passing out candy during the Waianae Coast Holiday Parade, Dec. 2.

This was the 23rd annual parade, hosted by the Waianae Coast Rotary Club and local businesses.

“We look forward to having the military participate in the parade each year,” said Lt. Col. (Ret.) Don ‘Rock’ Arakaki, president of the Waianae Coast Rotary Club. “I want to get the military members involved and connected with the community to foster lifelong partnerships and a sense of community.”

WAIANAE — Soldiers of 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division pass out candy during the Waianae Coast Holiday Parade in downtown Waianae, on Dec. 2, 2017. The parade aims at building trust and a sense of unity with the military and community of Waianae. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. David N. Beckstrom, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office)

The Soldiers of 1-21 IN, the ‘Gimlets’ and the 25th ID Band participated by doing a color guard with Cadet Command Sgt. Maj. Genessa Stone, one of the students in the Waianae High School JROTC, playing holiday music and passing out candy to keiki who lined Farrington Highway.

“I consider it an honor to be a part of this parade, because it ties not just me, but the military to the community,” said Cpl. Bryan Adams, an assistant team leader with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1-21 IN and a member of the color guard for the parade. “We put our all into making this a special day for the attendees of the parade, because this is where we live, this is where we work. These people are our friends, neighbors and colleagues.”

Community partnership

2IBCT partners with communities along the Leeward Coast of Oahu, including Waianae, Nanakuli, Mililani and Aiea.

“Being able to build a strong sense of community with the people of Waianae is one of 1-21 IN’s goals,” said 2nd Lt. Andrew McMillin, an operations officer with HHC, 1-21 IN. “We also work with the high schools of the Waianae Coast to foster these relationships across all ages. Building trust and cohesion is important in continuing this partnership; it shows that the military isn’t here just for them. We are here for everybody.”

After the parade, Soldiers of 1-21 IN and the 25th ID Band were invited to a community meet-and-greet at the Waianae Mall where local vendors had booths and goods for sale. These Soldiers had the opportunity to interact one-on-one with the people who attended the parade and express their gratitude to each other.

“Throughout the parade, I could feel the aloha that all parties shared for each other,” said McMillin.

 

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Category: Community, Community Relations

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