1st Bn., 21st Inf. Regt., ‘Gimlets,’ honor fallen heroes

| February 1, 2018 | 0 Comments

Participants watch as colors are posted during the 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division “Gimlets” Fallen Warrior at the 1st Lt. Nainoa Hoe Mission Training Complex on Schofield Barracks, Hawaii on Jan. 22. Soldiers honored those who have passed during the Global War on Terror conflict and were a part of the “Gimlet” Battalion. Standing front, Allen Hoe father of Lt. Hoe, spoke of his son and the lasting legacy he left serving in the 21st Infantry Regiment. (U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Jordan Linder)

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

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — The air stood still as attendees saluted the flag during the national anthem.

Battle buddies, Soldiers, warriors, leaders and all, stood side by side to pay tribute to their fallen brothers in combat.

On Jan. 22, Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, “Gimlets,” 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, paid tribute to fallen heroes of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. The ceremony brought guests from across the island to come together and pay their respects.

Soldiers of 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division “Gimlets” honor fallen warriors of the Global War on Terror during a ceremony at the 1st Lt. Nainoa Hoe Mission Training Complex on Schofield Barracks, Hawaii on Jan. 22. The Mission Training Complex was named in honor of Lt. Hoe, who was one of the fallen “Gimlets” remembered during the ceremony. (U.S. Army Photo by 1st Lt. Jordan Linder, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division Public Affairs)

1st Lt. Nainoa Hoe was one of 12 Gimlets Soldiers being honored in the ceremony. During his time in Iraq, Hoe was assigned to the 3rd Bn., 21st Inf. Regt. when he was killed in combat on Jan. 22, 2005, at the age of 27.

The ceremony, which was held outside of the 1st Lt. Nainoa Hoe Mission Training Complex, here, was named in Hoe’s honor.

Gold Star father and Vietnam veteran Allen Hoe, father of Lt. Hoe, began telling the crowd about how his son became an officer in the U.S. Army.

Soldiers of 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division “Gimlets” honor fallen warriors of the Global War on Terror during a ceremony at the 1st Lt. Nainoa Hoe Mission Training Complex on Schofield Barracks, Hawaii on Jan. 22. Speakers included Gold Star father and Vietnam veteran Allen Hoe, father of Lt. Hoe who spoke of his son and the lasting legacy he has left. In all 11 other “Gimlets” and three University of Hawaii Reserve Officer Training Corps graduates were remembered. (U.S. Army Photo by 1st Lt. Jordan Linder, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division Public Affairs)

Lt. Hoe was a 1995 Kamehameha Schools graduate and went on to join the reserves where he started his military career. In 1999, he was recognized as the Pacific Area Army Reservist of the Year. He enrolled in the Green to Gold program and commissioned as an active duty officer in 2003 from the University of Hawaii Reserve Officer Training Corps program.

In his opening remarks, Allen Hoe then took a brief pause and reminded the crowd of why attendees were at the ceremony.

“We come to admire and honor each one of these fine heroes as a special battle buddy, those that fought to our left and right,” said Hoe. “It’s important to take time to remember their legacy, to remind us why we do what we do.”

Hoe, who also serves as a civilian aide for the Secretary of the Army, expressed his pride for his son. To him, his son is his biggest hero, a natural leader and a great man.

As the ceremony continued, biographies of the 11 Soldiers in the Gimlets Bn. and of three fallen University of Hawaii ROTC graduates were read. The words of their memories invoked deep thought into all those in attendance.

“We are constantly reminded to never forget,” said Gen. Robert Brown, commander of U.S. Army-Pacific. “Sadly, in the end, people forget. This is why we have to make sure we do not forget. We have to carry their legacy.”

Brown had originally served as Lt. Hoe’s commander while deployed in Iraq.

“He was an incredibly professional individual, he was as inspirational as a leader on the battlefield could get, and it was one of the greatest privileges in my life to serve with him,” said Brown.

A long pause echoed through the crowd. The faces of each of the fallen sat quietly on tables as Soldiers remembered their fallen brothers. The photos of the fallen Gimlets are always on display in the 1-21st Inf. Headquarters, here, on Schofield Barracks. Their images hang proudly so that “as time passes, we will remember their sacrifices. They are permanently and proudly forged into Gimlets history,” said Lt. Col. James Hart, commander of the 1st Bn., 21st Inf. Regt.

The closing of the ceremony brought the attention of the attendees to the small American flag flying proudly next to the colors. The piece belonged to Hoe who carried it in Vietnam during his tour.

While in Iraq, Lt. Hoe continued his father’s legacy and also carried the small flag with him through his deployment. Lt. Hoe died with the flag in his possession.

Hoe closed out the ceremony by reminding all who serve of their role in the military.

“I carried that flag in Vietnam; Nainoa carried this flag in Iraq. It is an awesome legacy you all proudly carry with you every day.”

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