JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii-Soldiers from the 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command took part in a pumpkin carving event on October 25, 2018 at Linapuni Elementary School in Honolulu, Hawaii.
The event was held to strengthen the bond between Soldiers and their local community public schools by carving pumpkins with the students.
"I think it's imperative that as a military we reach out to our community and that we continue to foster great partnerships," said 1st Sgt. Thomas A. Johnson, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 94th AAMDC first sergeant, "We're here, and we're part of the community as well."
Students and Soldiers got to share the experience of carving pumpkins together.
"It was my first time actually carving a pumpkin," said Sgt. Terria M. Jones, a Soldier assigned to the 94th AAMDC.
Some of the students had parents there to help them carve a pumpkin while others that did not, had the help of one of the many Soldiers there.
"For some kids their mom is working or they just don't have parents to come out and participate so I felt like it was my turn to give back," Jones added.
For some Soldiers it was not their first time helping students during one of the events held at Linapuni Elementary School.
Spc. Jacob A. Maxfield, a Soldier also assigned to the 94th AAMDC is no stranger to the students of Linapuni Elementary School. Earlier this year Maxfield participated in the organizational day held at the school.
"I'm a very people person, so given the opportunity to go out and help kids or kids in need, that means a lot to me," Maxfield said.
Similar to Maxfield, Staff. Sgt. Manuel Carrasco, a platoon sergeant assigned to the 94th AAMDC, has participated in numerous events held at the elementary school over the course of two years.
Carrasco was apart of the pumpkin-carving event this year and last year. He has witnessed the growth of the event, as well as the lasting impact their participation has on the students.
"The kids now expect us to be there and it feels more welcoming; we bond more now in my opinion," Carrasco stated. "It just feels good to give back to the community where we serve here in Hawaii."
Many of the Soldiers that participated in the event plan to come back to the school for future activities sponsored by the unit.
Soldiers from the 94th AAMDC understand the importance of making a positive impact within the community as well as the great things that come from a supportive community.
"We show them our support, they show us their support, it's a two way street," Johnson said. "We'd like to make the community better."