Shinseki testimonial
will benefit isle schools

More than 1,300 people are expected to attend a testimonial for retired Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric "Ric" Shinseki tomorrow night to help raise funds for public schools in Hawaii, especially on Kauai where he attended school.

Tickets are $100 a person or $50 for veterans, widows and their families. The money will be used by the Public Schools of Hawaii Foundation for a scholarship program headed by Shinseki and his wife, Pat. The program will be administered by Ron Migita, president and chief executive officer of City Bank.

Organizers hope the Shinseki scholarship will be launched with an initial investment of more than $50,000 raised from the testimonial dinner.

Shinseki, 60, retired in June as head of the Army after 42 years in uniform. Earlier this month, Shinseki, the Kauai native who became the first Asian-American four-star general, joined the board of directors of Honeywell.

The benefit, which will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Hawai'i Convention Center, is sponsored by 33 veterans, military and civilian organizations, including the Hawaii Army Museum Society, which plans to unveil a special tribute to Shinseki at its Fort DeRussy site next year.

Part of the evening will be a video review of Shinseki's career. He graduated from Kauai High School in 1960 as student body president, then attended West Point. During the Vietnam War he was wounded twice. He went on to command troops on the mainland and in Europe and Bosnia-Herzegovina. He was appointed the Army's top soldier in June 1999.

Before he left the Army in February, he told a congressional committee that the United States would need up to 200,000 troops as a peacekeeping force in Iraq -- a statement that drew rebukes from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other administration officials.

Shinseki has made several trips to Hawaii since he retired, generally keeping a low profile. He is expected to make a short speech tomorrow night.

Co-chairmen of the event are Warren Haruki, retired chairman of Verizon Hawaii and Shinseki's nephew; retired University of Hawaii President Fujio Matsuda; and retired Army Maj. Gen. Herbert Wolff.

Wolff, who is also Hawaii Army Museum Society president, said that "throughout his career, Gen. Shinseki has been an inspiration and source of pride for all of us in Hawaii. Wednesday evening's tribute to the Shinsekis has been earned many times over, and it's even more meaningful because we are raising money to help our public schools in Hawaii."

More information and tickets can be obtained by calling 395-2314.


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