My life has not been easy. As a Native Hawaiian, I’ve struggled to survive in a
world whose changing values I sometimes find hard to accept. I fought for my
country in the Vietnam War. Tried to raise a good family. Help my community. Be
a good person.
What does it all count for? Not much. Not much at all when a
mistake that I made 30 years ago is prominently published in a local newspaper.
I am one of those people who were granted a pardon by the governor.
just come back from the war, without a job, I stole from another person. l was
convicted, did my year sentence. Since that time, I’ve worked hard to give
back. To clean up my pilikia.
I’ve volunteered more that 100 hours each in
hospitals like Kaua’i Veterans Memorial Hospital and Castle Medical Center.
I’ve tried to keep young people on the right track as an advisor for a local
canoe club. I don’t take the pardon the governor granted me lightly, and I’m
determined to live up to it.
I don’t understand these no-forgiveness,
no-aloha, “let them rot in hell” types. This Foley guy obviously doesn’t need
to be another burden on our criminal justice system, when he can do just the
opposite and contribute. He understands what he did, has paid a heavy price for
it, is remorseful, and like me, is determined to give back.
Cayetano granted Foley a pardon, he demonstrated not only courageous
leadership, but true aloha. It gives me hope that Hawaiian values are not
MICHAEL MANULANI MOOK Sr.