The Gift Of Music For Our Troops

Pamela Young
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Wednesday - February 09, 2010
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Dear Pamela,

I cannot begin to express the gratitude that I feel for all of the “Gift of Aloha” volunteers who came to the Capitol to wrap gifts for our soldiers overseas. I was amazed at the amount of people and generosity present. To see so many wonderful people taking time out of their busy schedules to give so self-lessly has truly touched my heart.

I cannot put into words how greatly appreciative I am to each and every one of you for putting your energies into a physical “labor of love” for our beloved men and women in uniform. I pray that each and every returning soldier will feel the love, the aloha, that was put into every gift.

May they all know that their service and sacrifice do not go unnoticed by those of us at home and, even more amazing, by complete strangers! The kids and I will never forget this experience. May God bless each and every one of you.

Carmen, Brock andRyndi Greenwell

Dear Pamela,

To give some perspective to Carmen’s letter (above), Carmen’s husband, Maj. (Garth) Troy Greenwell, has been in Iraq and serving as the primary surgeon with this battalion. The family lives in Honolulu. This has not been an “easy” time for any of these soldiers, and Carmen’s husband has had the experience of saving many, many lives of those injured during this deployment. Carmen and her children were there at the Capitol making cards and wrapping CDs for the soldiers.

This project started more than six months ago when there was a serious “incident” in Iraq. That put us in touch with Chaplain Oliver Washington and Chaplain Bill Lutz. One thing led obviously to another.

Chaplain Lutz, who has since returned from Iraq, thought it might be nice to send CDs to his soldiers. Chaplain Washington is in Fort Hood, Texas, the home base for these soldiers. He thought that Hawaiian music would make a positive difference.

State Sen. Suzanne Chun Oakland got her family involved. Susie’s daughter Lauren and her friends were there with us wrapping the gifts. Her father-in-law Michael T. Oakland, a Vietnam veteran, brought the CDs to her Senate office. Also APPLAUSE goes to Russell Higa, Cynthia Rodrigues, Lizhen Zhao and Mary Britton. There are many who had hoped to participate, too, and we thank them.

Some of the soldiers in this group are not returning. We send our Aloha to them, too. And there are others who are returning and inspire us with their stories and their fortitude, like Commanding Officer Tim Karcher, who is determined to stand tall and greet his men and women upon their return.

Sue Berg “Gift of Aloha”

Dear Pamela,

Let me add my thanks to Bobby Moderow of Maunalua and Myles Nomura, Maunalua’s business manager. It was Myles who gathered all the CDs. In all, we had more than 950 CDs to send to the soldiers. He took it upon himself to ask many other local artists to donate CDs toward this effort. Finally, Lynne Madden from Island Heritage donated all the beautiful key chains that were wrapped with the CDs.

Suzanne Chun
Hawaii State Senate

Dear Suzanne, Sue and the Greenwells,

Mahalo for inviting me to be a part of this wonderful project. As we were wrapping the CDs, it was great to read the cards made by students on Molokai. All the organizers of “Gift of Aloha” deserve a standing ovation for gathering so many musical gifts in this tough year, and inspiring the volunteers to add their special alohas to each present. May Troy, Matt and all your loved ones return to Hawaii from Iraq soon, singing Hawaiian tunes.

(If you know someone who deserves some Applause, send your letters to Pamela Young, MidWeek Applause, KITV, 801 S. King St., Honolulu, HI, 96813 or e-mail Include your name, phone number and, if possible, the phone number of your “applaudee” so we can contact him or her.)

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