By PV2 Jesus J. ArandaSeptember 2, 2008
Alexander L. Ladeira, a Reserve Officer's Training Corps cadet received a $1000 scholarship from the Nainoa Hoe Scholarship of Honor from Waimanalo businessman Ohelo Kaopio, a key contributor to the memorial scholarship, at the 1st Lt. Nainoa K. Hoe Battle Command Training Center Aug. 28.
Ladeira was chosen from a pool of many applicants to be the unanimous winner according to Allen K. Hoe, a civilian aid to the secretary of the Army and father of 1st Lt. Nainoa K. Hoe.
Ladeira, son of retired Army Col. Bruce Ladeira, stood out among his peers for his commitment to his high school junior ROTC program, as well as his determination toward pursuing a career in the Army.
The young awardee credits men like his father and Nainoa Hoe for instilling in him an interest in the Army.
Another Army father spoke highly of both his son and Ladeira, noting how similar the two are.
"He looked a lot like Nainoa at that age," Allen Hoe said, smiling.
The similarity between the two can be seen as more than just how Ladeira carries himself with a similar military bearing as Nainoa Hoe's.
Both men attended Kamehameha High School here in Hawaii according to Allen Hoe, and both shared an astute enthusiasm for serving the United States.
The Nainoa Hoe Scholarship of Honor was founded following Nainoa's 2005 death while he was deployed with the 25th Infantry Division in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The scholarship was presented to Ladeira on what would have been Nainoa's 31st birthday along with a Medal of Honor commemorative book presented by Maj. Gen. Robert L. Caslen Jr., commanding general, 25th Infantry Division.
"I am truly humbled and honored," said Ladeira. "I am inspired to do the best I can in the U.S. military."
Ladeira's acceptance of award drew applause and cheers from guests, family and friends of both the Ladeira and Hoe families. Soldiers who served alongside Lt. Hoe also attended the event.
Priding himself on maintaining the same values that Nainoa Hoe lived daily as a Soldier, Ladeira proves that though American heroes can pass on, the indomitable spirit of the modern American Soldier lives on in the hearts and minds of generations to come.