Last stand for Kauai Color Guard?

LIHUE — The numbers are dwindling, but the ones still around need to be thanked.

Richard “Soupbone” Kashiwabara is one of the last remaining Kauai Veterans Honor Guard members — rare company, indeed. He said because the original Honor Guard is aging and some falling victim to ailments, it got down to just three people showing up for an event — himself, and two others.

“We have no backing,” Kashiwabara said, dressed in his U.S. Army gear and veterans support Friday while he helped set up for tonight’s Kauai Hospice Concert in the Sky celebration. “We’ve told the Kauai Veterans Council for a long time that we could use the help of veterans from other wars. But no one came. It was just us, and I had to not only give the command, but fire as well. What happens if something happens to us?”

But recognized for their service, they will be.

Kashiwabara, the leader of the Kauai Veterans Honor Guard, will be attending the Kauai Veterans Council Veterans Roundup from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. today at the Kauai Veterans Center on Kapule Highway in Lihue.

“They said the Honor Guard is going to be recognized so must go,” Kashiwabara said, adding it’s good to be recognized. “We’re not getting younger. My wife is getting weaker, and I need to care for her.”

Veterans and their families are invited to the Veterans Roundup to learn more about veterans’ benefits as well as foster the veterans ohana.

Admission is by donation.


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