Representatives from most of the veterans groups on the Big Island gathered Feb. 15 at Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA).
The meeting was an opportunity for various groups from all over the island to exchange information and collaborate on issues of common interest and concern. This event has initiated conversation on how veteran’s groups can come together in such collaborative ways.
The commander of PTA, Lt. Col. Eric Shwedo, opened the meeting with an overview of PTA operations. After the opening brief, leaders from each of the veterans groups introduced themselves and highlighted their group’s goals, objectives and concerns.
Then, a veteran-led conversation ensued about ways to better collaborate on common issues in order to gain a greater voice. The meeting adjourned with the veterans groups renewed in their commitment to help one another.
Taking a short break from their military training at PTA, ground and aviation units from the Army’s 25th Infantry Division proudly set up a static display of helicopters, armored vehicles, Howitzers and small arms weaponry for the veterans.
Soldiers also demonstrated use of their equipment and discussed capabilities.
The Big Island veterans shared their military experiences with the soldiers from the 25th.
Old soldiers spoke of harrowing events with similar weapons and equipment, while the new soldiers spoke of more recent experiences.
Shwedo stated “this turned out to be a great event that allowed the current soldiers to tie back into our roots and hopefully will begin an era in which veteran groups from across the island will meet on a regular basis to collaborate on common issues.”
For more information, call PTA Public Affairs at 969-2411 or visit www.garrison.hawaii.army.mil/pta.