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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, May 18, 2001

State shows its aloha for military

By Curtis Lum
Advertiser Staff Writer

With the Arizona Memorial and USS Missouri as backdrops, the people of Hawai'i last night said thank you to the men and women in the armed services.

A color guard representing the branches of the military marched at dockside of the battleship Missouri during yesterday's ceremony opening Hawai'i Military Appreciation Week. Among the speakers were Gov. Ben Cayetano and Lt. Gen. Thomas Case, deputy chief of staff for the U.S. Pacific Command.

Gregory Yamamoto • The Honolulu Advertiser

The 16th annual Hawai'i Military Appreciation Week opened with a ceremony aboard the Missouri. The week honors the 41,000 military people who live and work in Hawai'i.

Navy Lt. Eric Cash has been stationed in Hawai'i since December 1999. The combat systems officer on the USS Lake Erie said nowhere else has he seen so much effort made to recognize the military.

"I've been stationed in other places, but this is the first place where I've seen huge events that are geared towards the military. That doesn't mean it doesn't exist in other places, but this is the place where I've seen a lot of it. It's nice to be appreciated."

Last night's event was attended by high-ranking military and enlisted personnel, veterans, local business leaders and elected officials. Military Appreciation Week is sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce of Hawai'i, The Honolulu Advertiser and Bank of Hawaii.

Ken Sandefur, chairman of the chamber's Military Affairs Council, thanked the military for its contributions to the state. He pointed to the volunteer work at schools, charitable causes and assistance during emergencies.

"American service men and women making extraordinary contributions in community service, contributions that have created a bond between the residents of Hawai'i and the military 'ohana," Sandefur said.

Lt. Gen. Thomas Case, deputy chief of staff, U.S. Pacific Command, thanked the people of the state for making the military feel at home.

"The recognition that you give our members and families means more than you will ever know," Case said. "We thank you for your warmth, for your aloha, feeling of 'ohana that you sustain us with. It makes all the difference."