This is a time when you need to support, said Robert Saulibio during the annual Veterans Day Parade Saturday that was presented by the Kauai Veterans Council and the Kapaa Business Association in Kapaa, with its theme of “Time was Served, Time to Honor.”
Saulibio had his children out to support his dad, Agapito Saulibio, who served in the U.S. Army.
Agapito is one of the veterans, 44 years with the Hawaii Army National Guard. who resides at Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital inKapaa, along with Melody Pascual, a colonel in the Army; Leonard Bandmann, U.S. Navy; Oscar Montejo Sr., U.S. Air Force; Triana Bernal, U.S. Air Force; Eugene Delos Reyes, U.S. Marine Corps; Ove Jensen, Merchant Marine; Dino Bondallian, U.S. Army; William Villanueva, U.S. Air Force; Marie Dar, U.S. Army; and Pedro Camalliri, U.S. Army.
The Mahelona Hospital unit honored its veterans by participating in the parade where Brig. Gen. Bruce Oliveira served as its grand marshal, and Leslie Uri made her debut as Miss Kauai Veteran, complete with a strong backup presense (four busloads) from the Waimea High School Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps.
“Even the volunteers who help push the residents are veterans,” said Josie Pablo, Hawaii Health Systems Corporation Kauai Region recreation director. “We were lucky because we got two additional volunteers from the Pacific Missile Range Facility to help push residents, too.”
Hundreds of people lined Kuhio Highway, where Larry Rivera entertained from the back of a trolley carrying veterans of different organizations.
“Larry wanted a seat up front with Jim Jung,” Mel Rapozo said. “But that way, people only get to see him for a short while. If he gets a seat in the back, they get to see him for a long time after the float passes.”
Rivera, now 89 years young, was perched in the seat of honor at the back of the trolley, crooning out assorted Rivera numbers for the audience.
“This is my last Veterans Day Parade,” Rivera said. “I’m 89 years old right now. Next year, I’m going to be 90, so I might just stay home.”
Joe Munechika and Ron Wiley served as the voices of the parade, and Dickie Chang came out of video retirement to record the event.
The parade was highlighted by the drawing for the 2019 Nissan truck that was driven through the parade by chair Russell Maeda, and despite the argument between Kaleo Carvalho and Nalani Brun over who actually owns the truck, Aaron Lee was the announced the winner in the annual Kauai Veterans Council fundraiser.
The traditional Veterans Day service will take place Monday, Nov. 11, starting at 11 a.m. at the Kauai Veterans Cemetery in Hanapepe.
“It’s always on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month,” said Kimi Blaum of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. “This year, however, we’re doing two celebrations. The first is the traditional service honoring veterans who paid the ultimate price for the freedom we enjoy. This will take place at the Kauai Veterans Cemetery.”
Following that service, the Kauai Veterans Center will honor all generations of veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice.
Doors open at 1 p.m. and the celebration continues through 6 p.m. with Rivera starting the revelry that includes prizes and games.
“We have something for everyone,” said Aida Cruz of the Kauai Veterans Center. “Following Uncle Larry, we have Kauai Kolab, Nick Castillo, Vibrations, and the Sunset Swing Band closing the place with its dance music.”
Gaylord’s is donating the entire menu for up to 250 people, Cruz said.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.