HONOLULU -- A crowd starts to form around a vehicle in downtown Honolulu.
Men, women and children shuffle towards one Soldier who is handing out clothing.
Sgt. 1st Class Anastasia Doctor, G3 Current Operations noncommissioned officer, master fitness trainer and Equal Opportunity representative of the 311th Signal Command (Theater) strengthens the bond between the military and the community.
Doctor was recognized for her contributions to the community during the Military Affairs Council by Governor David Ige, May 5. Doctor's husband, Sgt. 1st Class Abdul Jaffar, accepted the award on her behalf since she was on a temporary duty assignment in Laos.
Governor David Ige issued a proclamation at the MAC that formally identified the month of May as Hawaii Military Appreciation Month.
"The military service members assigned here in Hawai'i are a lot more than Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen or Guardsman; they are family, 'ohana," said Thomas Lee, Military Affairs liaison. "Recognition of our service members by proclamation has great meaning beyond the paper it is written upon and signatures it bears."
Doctor is a grassroots advocate for the homeless community. After big dinners for Thanksgiving, unit holiday functions and tailgating parties, she packages the leftovers and feeds the homeless from her car with her children. She and her family first began donating their time to the homeless in Alaska, her previous assignment.
"I believe that if one is hungry; we are all hungry," Doctor said. "In this world, we share a common family, and if one is needy, mentally, physically or emotionally, we are bound together to help cease that need."
With only nine months on island, Doctor has made some serious moves in the homeless community. For the month of December, she created a program called "Everyone Deserves a Christmas," where she would visit with the homeless to ask what they wanted for Christmas and greeted them with their gift on Christmas morning.
In honor of Valentine's Day, she collected unit clothing donations for the homeless community to spread the gift of love for one another. At the start of the next quarter, she began a shoe donation program called Sneaker Joy. This program continues to take place at the start of every quarter.
"Military Appreciation Month distinguishes the many hours each service member has spent, giving the little free time they have to their neighbors, their h?nai ohana," said Lee.
Doctor plans to encourage a unit food drive in the near future.