America’s Pacific Division leads the way during Great Aloha Run

| February 23, 2018 | 0 Comments

Maj. Gen. Ronald Clark leads Soldiers of the 25th Infantry Division in the 8.15-mile Great Aloha Run Monday in Honolulu. (Photo by 1st Lt. Ryan DeBooy, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Inf. Div.)

25th Infantry Division
Public Affairs
HONOLULU — The threat of rain couldn’t keep more than 1,500 Tropic Lightning and U.S. Army Hawaii Soldiers from running in the 34th annual Great Aloha Run, here, Monday, and earning the Sounds of Freedom Cup for military participation for being the military service/organization with the largest number of participants.

The inclement weather stayed away and the skies cleared, allowing the 25th Infantry Division and U.S. Army Hawaii’s command team of Maj. Gen. Ron Clark and Command Sgt. Maj. Brian Hester, to lead Soldiers on the 8.15 mile run.

Soldiers from each one of the Division’s brigades and its headquarters participated, as well as other major commands that make up the Army team in Hawaii.

This is the fifth time Clark has participated in the Great Aloha Run, but the first time as the commander of America’s Pacific Division. He said the Tropic Lighting and U.S. Army Hawaii Soldiers were honored to participate side-by-side with their community partners.

Brig. Gen. Peter Andrysiak, chief of staff, U.S. Army Pacific, leads Soldiers on an 8.15-mile Great Aloha Run on Monday.

“It’s all about teamwork and camaraderie that builds readiness,” Clark said. “The strongest human emotion is the feeling to belong, so to belong to this group this morning, is pretty awesome.”

The run began near Aloha Tower and finished in the north side of Aloha Stadium.

As Soldiers and other service members entered Aloha Stadium, they were greeted by “The Sounds of Freedom” performed by the University of Hawaii marching band.

“It was excellent. Great morning for it, and there was a huge crowd. It was a great event,” Clark said.

The military has had a large presence in the Great Aloha Run for years. Soldiers in the 25th ID said it’s a great way to enhance the partnership between the Army and its hosts from Hawaii.

“Running in the Great Aloha Run to me is the culmination of everything we do throughout the year to support our community,” said Sgt. 1st Class Benjamin Heimstead, 25th Sustainment Brigade. “It allows the public to not see us as just a force, but to see us as part of their community by embracing their culture.”

For some, the run is about pride in their unit. Sgt. Julius Muniz, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, participated in the Great Aloha Run in 2016 and said he embraced the esprit de corps with his unit.

“I enjoy running,” Muniz said. “I would absolutely do this again.”

Support for the military from the community was apparent across the entire course.

“Their cheering was really motivating, not to just me, but all the Soldiers in our formation,” said 1st Lt. John Kim, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team.

Col. Deydre Teyhen (right), commander of U.S. Army Health Clinic-Schofield Barracks, offers a shaka salute at Aloha Stadium on the completion of the Great Aloha Run on Monday. (Photo courtesy of Great Aloha Run)

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