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Waimea High School JROTC nears funding deadline for trip abroad

LIHU‘E — The Waimea High School JROTC goal of getting funded for their 80th anniversary of D-Day participation was boosted by the $500 award from the Hawai‘iUSA Federal Credit Union on Tuesday.

Retired Sergeant Major Keith Castaneda, a Waimea High School JROTC Army Instructor, accepted the contribution on behalf of the unit that will be putting forth more cadets to the all-Hawai‘i honor guard than any other unit in the state during the tour that starts on June 3.

The Waimea High School JROTC cadets, who would comprise the largest contingent of the Hawai‘i-only honor unit, are scheduled to learn about the World War II D-Day invasion, the involvement by members of the 442 Regimental Combat Unit and the 100th Infantry Battalion, whose membership included Kaua‘i families, and the ultimate liberation of France and Europe, said Retired U.S. Army Col. Vincent Lee Freeman Jr., the Senior Army Instructor at Waimea High School.

When the cadets leave Kaua‘i, they will represent not only the island of Kaua‘i, the state of Hawai‘i, the nation, but the many veterans who are not able to make the trip.

“This trip will probably be the last one that will take place,” Castaneda said. “With the recent passing of the last Pearl Harbor survivor, this is the end of an era.”

Castaneda said it is estimated to cost about $5,000 to send each cadet to Europe. But time is running out on getting donations to help the cadets since the deadline for submitting everything is May 1.

To help the cadets, contact Castaneda at email Keith_Castaneda@notes.k12.HI.US, or Col. Freeman at email Vincent.Freeman@k12.HI.US.
Source: The Garden Island

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