Friday, Aug. 12, 2022 |
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LIHUE — How many more are not here, asked Kauai County Council Chair Mel Rapozo on Sunday at the Kauai Veterans Center.
“I didn’t finish all my paperwork when I retired,” Rapozo said. “Since the Veterans Administration person was going to be here, I thought I could complete the paperwork. This is a pretty good crowd, but how many more veterans are out there that aren’t here?”
Several hundred veterans and their families took advantage of the services being offered by agencies taking care of veterans and the meal provided by the work of Korean War veterans at the annual Kauai Veterans Council workshop and party at the Kauai Veterans Center on Kapule Highway.
Jim Jung was pleased with his random drawing prize — an artist’s rendering of Hanalei Bay with the Hanalei Pier.
“This is very appropriate,” Jung said. “I just started doing presentations on the Haaheo, or Cleopatra’s Barge, as a docent for the Kauai Museum, so getting this Hanalei Bay piece is so appropriate. It’s amazing how many residents don’t even know about Cleopatra’s Barge.”
Prizes,were given away throughout the day as Sixto Tabay, a veteran with the Kauai Veterans Council retired rifle squad, showed off his USS Arizona cap bearing the Dec. 7, 1941 insignia.
“There are not too many of these around,” Tabay said. “You can’t find them. I kept mine from when I got it, and only now, I get to wear it.”
Charlene Burgess of the VA community-based outpatient clinic was visiting with Monty Nishie, 100, and Gabriel Cataluna, 102, the oldest surviving veterans on Kauai, to check on their well-being during the party.
Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. surprised the audience by breaking out with a “Happy Birthday” for Ed Kawamura, the Kauai Veterans Council commandant, who was enjoying his birthday.
“My wife Lily asked me what I was doing for my birthday,” Kawamura said. “I told her, ‘I’m having a party.’”
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