Volunteers come together for vet

OMAO — Herman Castillejos of Homestead Construction said he heard the project was for a veteran — so he showed up to help Saturday.

“I don’t even know his name,” Castillejos said. “Stanford Morinaka and I are good friends and work together. He said this was for a veteran, so have to come help because I’m a veteran, too.”

Morinaka, president of S.T. Morinaka Construction, said he coordinated the project at the home of Leonard Morris in Omao with the help of Ed Kawamura of Veterans Helping Veterans and a grant from the Home Depot.

“I was out here Thursday and Friday by myself trying to get the project lined up for today,” Morinaka said. “It’s hard to get volunteers so I had to have my guys come out to help.”

Morinaka, who expected to complete the work over the weekend, hopes that when people find out about the work they’re doing for Morris, they’d be willing to help on other projects, especially if it involves veterans or seniors.

“This is their one time to be in the newspapers,” Morinaka said, creating a break so he could get the workers together for a group photo. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime thing. And it’s because they’re doing something good.”

Leonard’s son Patrick Morris was busy with party preparations, but came to check on his father who sat quietly in the home’s living room, soothed by the whisper of a breeze flowing through the home and the soft strains of music from a radio.

“You need to get a picture of my sister,” Patrick said. “She’s the one who cares for Leonard the most. I just came to check on him because she went to get lunch for these workers. We really appreciate what they’re doing for us.”

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