Military honored with gratitude
By William Cole
Advertiser Military Writer
The Chamber of Commerce of Hawai'i is extending a monthlong "thank you" to the armed forces as part of Military Appreciation Month.
The 17th annual celebration has been extended to the entire month of May in keeping with Congress' formally recognizing the month as National U.S. Military Appreciation Month, officials said.
"It's the one time during the year we extend our appreciation to the military community for all the things they do for us," said Charles Ota, the chamber's vice president for military affairs. "This year, businesses have a greater opportunity to show their appreciation."
Ota said active-duty and National Guard and Reserve military personnel, along with retirees and family members, number more than 120,000 in Hawai'i.
Military and other federal spending exceeded $9 billion in 2000, second only to tourism in terms of economic impact.
Following are the activities scheduled this month:
- Saturday 6th Annual Marine Aircraft Group Triathlon at Marine Corps Base Hawai'i at Kane'ohe Bay. 5:30 a.m. start. Open to the public. Call 254-7590/91.
- May 11 Military Appreciation Night at Paradise Cove. Discounted tickets available through Military Morale, Welfare, Recreation offices.
- May 13 The Organization of Women Leaders recognize Brig. Gen. Coral Wong-Pietsch, the first woman general in the 226-year history of the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps, and first Asian American woman to hold the rank of brigadier general in the U.S. Army. Open to members and guests.
- May 17 14th Annual Jack Baker ESGR Golf Tournament honoring the Guard, Reserve and their employers, at Leilehua Golf Course. Registration at 10:30 a.m., shotgun start at noon.Call 733-4228/4113/4128 to register.
- May 17 Opening ceremonies at the USS Missouri Memorial on Ford Island. 6 p.m. Includes presentation of state and city proclamations to the commander in chief of U.S. Pacific Command. Call 545-4340.
- May 18 The Annual Combined Military Band Concert at the Hawai'i Theatre from 7 to 9 p.m. Musicians from U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Hawai'i Army National Guard play favorites. Call 545-4300.
- A Capital Day Down Capitol Way from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Open to public.
- Living History Day sponsored by the Hawai'i Army Museum Society at Fort DeRussy from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Open to public.
- Military Day at the Polynesian Cultural Center. Discounted tickets available through military ticketing at MWR, ITT, and ITR offices.
- Dole Plantation Maze 4th Birthday Bash. Special "2 for 1" rate. U.S. Army to feature static displays of military vehicles.
- May 19 Family Sunday Military Day at Bishop Museum. Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Enjoy live music on the lawn and hula shows.
- May 20 Military Spouse's Reception at 'Iolani Palace from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. By invitation only.
- May 20 Military Night hosted by the Hale Koa Hotel.
- May 22 Military Recognition Luncheon at Hilton Hawaiian Village from noon to 1:15 p.m. Annual recognition of outstanding community service by military and mmunity members. Call 545-4317.
- May 24-27 Military Discount Days at Borders Books, Music and Cafe at Ward Centre and Waikele. Both stores will offer up to 20 percent military discounts through the weekend.
- May 30 USO Hawai'i benefit golf tournament at Leilehua Golf Course. Check-in at 10 a.m.. Noon shotgun start. Call 836-3351.
- May 31-June 1 Experience Hawai'i With Aloha Expo at Hickam Air Force Base brings together local vendors to showcase products and services. Free admission.
Special offers for military members and their families through the month are being made by: Aston Hotels and Resorts, Bright Smile Professional Teeth Cleaning Spa, Computer Training Academy, Hawthorne Suites, Hilo Hattie, Kapono's, New Horizons Computer Learning Center of Hawaii and Piano Planet.
Military discounts are being offered at: Sea Life Park, Waimea Falls Park, USS Missouri, Atlantis Submarines and Atlantis Cruises.