Soldiers help local farm while learning about Hawaiian culture
More than a dozen Soldiers from 2nd Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment training at U.S. Army Garrison Pōhakuloa Training Area volunteered to lend a helping hand at Kahua Pa’a Mua Farms in North Kohala on the Big Island, on July 27.
The soldiers removed debris and invasive plants, and enhanced a classroom structure. They also enjoyed learning about the Hawaiian culture and history, and were treated to a Hawaiian lunch that included vegetables from the farm.
“The experience I had at the outreach event reminded me of why I joined the Army,” said Pfc. Emily Glidewell who hails from Fort Smith, Arkansas. “Uncle David and Uncle Jerry told us that what we did for them was a huge blessing, but in all honesty, it was a blessing to me.”
Kahua Pa’a Mua Farms is a non-profit organization with the purpose of teaching local children and families about self-sustaining agriculture practices connecting them to their ancestral ways and local traditions.
“Being a part of this event gave me a better understanding of the culture and the values that the community has, as well as the bond they share,” said Cpl. Antonio Hernandez whose hometown is Victorville, California.
“It was ‘win win’ all around. The troops worked real hard every minute from beginning to end,” said “Uncle” David Fuentes, who is one of the managers at the farm. “Our workers connected with them like ‘ohana [family] while they shared their mana‘o [thoughts] and cultural exchange. It was a beautiful productive day.”