OAHU, Hawaii – Serving the local community is commonplace wherever Soldiers are assigned throughout the world, and for those stationed in Hawaii this is no different. For the last few years the 25th Infantry Division Staff Judge Advocate Office has taken part in the adopt-a-highway program, keeping a two-mile section of Kamehameha Highway on the North Shore of Oahu clear of trash and debris.
Capt. Cora Allen, an Administrative/Operational Law Attorney assigned to 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division volunteered to assume the duty of clean-up coordinator shortly after she arrived in Hawaii.
“We recognize that we are so very lucky to be stationed in such a beautiful place, and cleaning up our section of the highway is our small act of gratitude to the Āina,” she said. “It is important for us to show the local community that we don't take living in Hawaii for granted and that we want to be good stewards of the land.”
Allen explained that this is more than a unit activity because Soldiers often times bring along family members and friends which increases the amount of trash that can be picked up in a single day.
“It’s a good chance for us all to spend time together outside of work since our legal shops are spread out around Schofield Barracks and Wheeler Army Airfield and the cleanups are a good excuse to get together with our JAG Ohana,” she said.
“We go out there quarterly, usually on a Saturday morning and have a bit of coffee before we set off on our trash pickup mission.”
According to Allen, waking up early on the weekend to pick up trash from the highway is not always desirable, but after receiving honks and shakas from passing motorists and the day is done, the feeling of satisfaction makes the long day worth the effort.