In the Military
COURTESY OF U.S. ARMY
Soldiers of Hawaii's 29th Brigade Combat Team performed a hula at a farewell party held in Iraq on Monday.
29th Brigade bids aloha in Iraq with farewell hula
Hawaii soldiers of the 29th Brigade Combat Team, expected home by the middle of this month, put on a farewell hula show to a standing-room-only crowd at the Al-Faw Palace Ballroom on Camp Victory on Monday. The musicians and dancers have performed the hula and Hawaiian medleys since April.
"It's great to see these soldiers perform and bring our culture to other people in the military," said Spc. Vincent Gonzales, a member of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, in an Army news release.
"In Hawaii we have what we call the spirit of aloha. Aloha meaning love, and these soldiers performing gave them a chance to share that spirit with others."
"It's awesome to be part of a group like this," said Sgt. Lorinda Ballesteros, a 29th Brigade medic.
"It's our culture, and it's great to be able to have the opportunity to share that with other people one last time while we are here."
"It brings up the morale, especially for soldiers from Hawaii," said Ballesteros. "When we sing these songs it brings them back home and keeps them happy."
Four Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard welders spent part of the summer at the Rock Island Arsenal in Illinois installing armor on Humvees.
"We feel proud," said Bobby Lee Tavares, one of the welders on the assignment, in a Navy news release. "At least we're saving some people's lives."
In May, the Army asked the Naval Sea Systems Command for welders from naval shipyards to work at the arsenal. The highly mobile and lightweight Humvees used in Iraq and Afghanistan were found vulnerable to enemy attack and the Army decided to add armor plating.
Tavares and co-worker Melissa Seguerre volunteered after hearing a news report about a truck in Iraq that was hit by a roadside bomb. The armored cabin shielded the Americans inside and they were able to walk away unharmed.
The two spent seven weeks at the arsenal, working 12-hour shifts six days a week and were relieved by Shelby FeBenito and Randal Amoncio, who stayed three additional weeks.
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"In the Military" was compiled from wire reports and other
sources by reporter Gregg K. Kakesako, who covers military affairs for
the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. He can be reached can be reached by phone
at 294-4075 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org