Welcome, Wounded Warrior!

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Kennedy Deslauriers shows her dad Master Sgt. Joe Deslauriers admire the Moana doll she received from Moana Thursday as Veterans Helping Veterans’ Ed Kawamura Sr. gets a cell phone photo during the airport greeting for the Vacations for Warriors.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Master Sgt. Joe Deslauriers, his wife Lisa, and children Cameron and Kennedy are greeted by dignitaries and veterans supporters Thursday on their arrival for a Vacations for Warriors at Lihue Airport.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Cameron Deslauriers is thrilled with the honu gift he got as he befriends a young boy Thursday after arriving with his family, including veteran Master Sgt. Joe Delauriers, Lisa and Kennedy Delauriers at the Lihue Airport. Helping with the greeting are Moana, Thomas Dempsy and Lynn Aylward-Bingham.

Cameron Deslauriers of Florida wanted to know where Maui of the Disney film “Moana” was Thursday at Lihue Airport.

He shared the question with his dad Master Sgt. Joe Delauriers during a quiet moment following the family’s arrival for a Vacations for Warriors stay on Kauai.

His family, including wife Lisa, daughter Kennedy, and Cameron were enveloped by dignitaries, including Kauai’s own Moana, who was inspired by the Disney film, welcoming the Wounded Warrior and his family to the Garden Island.

Ed Kawamura Sr., past commandant of the Kauai Veterans Council and of the Veterans Helping Veterans group, represented a proclamation, which was followed by special letters of commendation from Gov. David Ige, and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.

Deslauriers joined the Air Force following his graduation from college, training in Explosive Ordnance Disposal.

Stationed at Hurlburt Field, Florida, Deslauriers was deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and to Afghanistan three times in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

During this time, Deslauriers suffered injuries resulting in triple amputation, mild traumatic brain injury, and post traumatic stress disorder.

While conducting a post-blast investigation following three improvised explosive device blasts, he stepped on a pressure plate in an area that had been previously swept.

Deslauriers has previously walked over the area four times, and was injured while returning to his vehicle in the Helmand Province, Sangin District of Afghanistan while conducting routine clearance with the 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, U.S. Marine Expeditionary Force.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.

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