EWA BEACH, Hawaii-- Single soldiers of the 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command, Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers (BOSS) program used their individual abilities, as well as team work, to assist in the restoration of the historical Hawaiian Railway here, July 15. "It was great to help restore something historical. It gave me an opportunity to help the community and learn something about it," said Pvt. Crystal Townsend, human resources specialist, 94th AAMDC. "We, as soldiers, are trained to be able to do any task we are asked to do, which makes us extremely productive in volunteer work". The soldiers teamed with the Hawaiian Railway Society in assisting with the renovation of a significant asset of Hawaii\'s history. "The main significance of operation for the Hawaiian Railway Society is that we work to save, restore and protect as much of the old railroad equipment as possible. We also are dedicated to keeping this part of Hawaii's Railroading History alive through narrated rides," said Mr. Thomas G. McCarthy, an administrator of Hawaiian Railway Society. The society was formed in 1970 to serve the purpose of saving the remains of Hawaii's railroad history. It is an educational non-profit organization that survives on volunteers. They have restored approximately 6.5 miles of track and put three vintage diesel locomotives on the tracks. They also have the only active railroad on Oahu. The renovation project that the soldiers were put to work on involved painting, sanding and weed control spraying. Community service, being the second pillar of the BOSS program, gives single soldiers the chance to make a difference in the lives of others, in the community and in themselves. "I decided to be involved in the volunteer work to help out the community, and because it helps the community have a better outlook and understanding of the military," said Pvt. Crystal Townsend, human resources specialist, 94th AAMDC. Townsend went on to explain that in her opinion, community service is win-win. Not only does the community benefit from it, volunteers do as well. "Having soldiers assist us is significant because volunteering is important to patriotism. History belongs to everyone. My opinion of the volunteers was favorable, they did a fine job and we appreciated them out here," said McCarthy.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16