SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii - Nearly 150 Soldiers with Santa hats and ruck sacks full of gifts marched to Ka’Ala Elementary School in Wahiawa, Hawaii to spread the holiday spirit as the sun rose behind them Dec. 1, 2022.
The 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division participated in an almost 4-mile ruck march to deliver approximately 300 toys to their partner school.
“Today we’re reigniting our partnership with the 3-4 CAV from Schofield,” explained Sam Bennett, the Ka’Ala Elementary School principal. “Through COVID, it was difficult to continue that partnership, but now that we’re back together we’re working with them, we really appreciate their donations today. It’s for the Ka’Ala Kares Program, where over the holidays we’re able to provide gifts to our families here in Wahiawa.”
The 3-4 Cav regiment’s contributions to the Ka’Ala Kares program and the warm welcomes of the school’s staff have continuously demonstrated a perfect example of the squadron’s desire to return support to the surrounding communities.
“We’re donating gifts, the children will be wrapping the gifts, and the staff of the school will distribute the gifts accordingly to families in need,” said Sgt. Jasmin DeFilippo, a wheeled vehicle mechanic with the 3-4 CAV. “We just rucked out here with gifts in our ruck sacks, spreading some holiday cheer.”
Throughout the 25th Infantry Division, units are partnered with different schools across Oahu, and involvement often reflects mutual interest and command influence.
Supporting the Ka’Ala Elementary School and the Wahiawa community is instrumental to the Raider Squadron to being a good neighbor.
“I think it’s important to the school two-fold,” said Bennett. “Number one, it shows the children that our Wahiawa community, including the Soldiers, care about them, and secondly, we do appreciate that we’re all able to work together. We look forward to Military Appreciation Day where we can give back to support the soldiers as well.”
With COVID restrictions in the past, both the Raider Squadron and Ka’Ala Elementary School look forward to participating in more engagements throughout the year to build their school partnership.