Saluting the military

Jessica Else / The Garden Island

Captain Vincent Johnson and Kauai Chamber of Commerce Chair Elect Michelle Emura welcome attendees to the Military Appreciation luncheon at Shenanigans at the U.S. Navy Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands Friday.

Jessica Else / The Garden Island

Dan Kimberly, from left, Jeremy Schwartz, Chris Keech, Sam Kessler and Calvin Lamsrix enjoy the pizza buffet at Shenanigans at the U.S. Navy Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands during Military Appreciation Day on Friday.

BARKING SANDS — The pizza party was a hit at Shenanigans on Friday as community members and military personnel gathered at the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility for Military Appreciation Day.

“They’re serving what I hear is a favorite meal, a pizza buffet in honor of our military,” said Kauai Chamber of Commerce Chair Elect Michelle Emura, welcoming active-duty soldiers and civilians to the shady Shenanigans lanai overlooking Kauai’s sun-soaked Majors Bay.

She explained the luncheon is a way to celebrate the service, dedication and bravery of members of the U.S. armed forces, including those who have sacrificed their lives for freedom.

PMRF Commanding Officer, Capt. Vincent Johnson, returned the spirit of appreciation when he spoke, pointing out PMRF’s efforts to give back to the community and voicing gratitude for Kauai’s close-knit vibes.

“We have a special connection to the community out here on Kauai,” Johnson said, highlighting the U.S. armed forces’ values like loyalty and respect, and connecting them to Hawaii’s values of pono, malama and ohana.

“These are all things we strive to exemplify,” he said.

Dennis Peters, representative for event sponsor the Jacobs company, took the floor after Johnson.

“Thank you for everything you do. You are appreciated,” he said.

It was an informal collection of short speeches, reflecting the casual camaraderie of the event. People threw shakas as they posed for photos and gathered around tables to talk story.

Active duty, retired military, citizen workers and community members loaded their plates with pepperoni and some grabbed cocktails after the welcome, kicking their feet up and taking a little break from a busy week.

Meanwhile, PMRF debuted several short videos that give a little peek into the types of work, testing and training done at the base. Footage included rocket launches, pilot perspectives from inside aircraft, and video of takeoffs and landings of various aircraft.

They’ll be posting those videos online soon, and they’ll be available for the public.

Johnson made sure to bring the crowd up to speed on the pending change in command at PMRF. His three years at the helm will be finished in August. He’ll be moving on to the next post, and PMRF will be welcoming a new captain to the base.


Jessica Else, staff writer, can be reached at 245-0452 or

  1. harryoyama May 19, 2019 1:08 pm Reply

    Come on, with the Navy and its vast array of food services available serving cheap pizzas to “honor” our military personnel is disgraceful. Even the Coast Guard does a much better job of serving a full course during Thanksgiving to honor not only military, but also retired veterans, DoD people and their family.

    And for a major Navy facility at PMRF, serving pizza, you may as well offer MRE’s for that matter. The CO of that facility should be ashamed of this.

    1. Rightright May 20, 2019 7:42 am Reply

      Harryoyama, Maybe you should be ashamed of yourself. Bashing The Jones company or Chamber of Commerce, sponsors of the event, for their kind gesture of appreciation for the military. Perhaps their budget didn’t allow for a full course meal. Also looks like they went as far as figuring out what one of their favorite meals were. Kill the mood, party pooper! Ungrateful….

    2. Debra Kekaualua May 20, 2019 9:35 am Reply

      mAhalo Mr Oyama, i got a good morning Giggle reading your take on military madness (serving pizza over mris). PMRF and extension u.s. military continues a weird sort of martial law for the slaves to PMRF, and their likenesses. We are the Kauai tenants. The many different combinations of ethnicities and or geneology that will prevail and INcludes all of we the colorful people who deserve DEoccupation of u.s. infidels, militaropolitico voter scam brought to light at the U.N. with one lie out from the u.s. reps, and that recently these U.S. reps were eventually found with their pants down! The door for Hawaii-nei opened with irrefutable due diligence research that indicates the gravity of the lie and decades of evil characters who like the book by Kinzer, ‘Overthrow’ outlines the horrors posed by a regime, that thinks they are in charge around the globe.

  2. Debra Kekaualua May 19, 2019 5:48 pm Reply

    Saluting u.s. military occupation 125+ years

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