Big Island Coronavirus Updates

Veterans Home Holds Ohana Parade in Hilo

May 24, 2020, 6:00 AM HST
* Updated May 24, 2:25 AM
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Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home Ohana Parade on Friday, May 22, 2020, in Hilo. PC: Stacyn Sakuma

Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home in Hilo held an Ohana Parade for veterans and their families on Friday May 22, 2020.

Residents of the home have been sequestered to help stem the spread of the potentially deadly COVID-19 virus.

“It was a unique way for our family members to see their loved ones,” said Stacyn Sakuma, recreation director at the home. “Our residents sat out (in) front of the facility to view our family members as they drove by.”

Vehicles proceeded slowly to the property’s turn-around area and greeted veterans from their cars. Family members waived and shared a few words and little gifts with their loved ones, such as leis or balloons. Some family members decorated cars and held signs with expressions of love.

It has been roughly two months since members of the home had been able to see their loved ones, and the parade was the facility’s effort to bring them back together.

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“It was a heartfelt moment as we watched our residents and family members connect today during our ohana parade,” Sakuma said Friday. “Many shared laughs, smiles and tears.”

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The facility will be putting together another parade on Friday May 29, at 10:30 am for its Ohana 1 residents and their family members.

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