Soldiers Supports Community Beach Cleanup
1 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Volunteers of the Spencer Beach cleanup, March 4, 2023. (Photo Credit: Amy Phillips) VIEW ORIGINAL
Soldiers Supports Community Beach Cleanup
2 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Soldiers from the 325th Brigade Support Battalion (BSB) "Mustangs" getting a safety brief by Cynthia Ho, lead coordinator of the Spencer Beach cleanup, March 4, 2023. (Photo Credit: Amy Phillips) VIEW ORIGINAL
Soldiers Supports Community Beach Cleanup
3 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Soldiers from the 325th Brigade Support Battalion (BSB) "Mustangs" playing the trivia spinner wheel game after they finished the Spencer Beach cleanup, March 4, 2023. (Photo Credit: Amy Phillips) VIEW ORIGINAL
Soldiers Supports Community Beach Cleanup
4 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Soldiers from the 325th Brigade Support Battalion (BSB) "Mustangs" giving back to the community by supporting the Spencer Beach cleanup, March 4, 2023. (Photo Credit: Amy Phillips) VIEW ORIGINAL

Thirty-five Soldiers from the 325th Brigade Support Battalion (BSB) "Mustangs" of the 25th Infantry Division, stationed at Schofield Barracks, Oahu, helped clean-up Spencer Beach and Puako on their day off from conducting key training at U.S. Army Garrison Pōhakuloa Training Area and got to learn first-hand about conservation efforts in west Hawai’i.

“We appreciate the large group of participants to support our clean-up, and hope to continue working with troops from Pōhakuloa,” said Cynthia Ho, lead coordinator with Keep Puako Beautiful & South Kohala Reef Alliance.

Participants discovered that this was not a typical beach cleanup after signing in and getting their name badges. They were divided into groups, given a bucket and grabbers, and a detailed checklist to keep track of types of trash picked up. The checklist has six categories and more than 40 items such as cups and plates, diapers, and cigarette butts. The trash was then weighed and bagged. According to the Keep Puako Beautiful website, 196 pounds of trash was collected this day.

1st Sgt. Nutthavut Srisathith, of Bravo Company, 325th BSB, 25th Infantry Division, worked with the U.S. Army Garrison – Pōhakuloa Training Area public affairs office to round up volunteers. “It was the off day for most of the [Soldiers] so I didn't expect many people to volunteer. Surprisingly, I was able to gather roughly 35 Soldiers!” said Srisathith.

“Community is an integral part of our team,” said Lt. Col. Brandon Grooms, commander of the 325th BSB, which is part of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division based at Schoffield Barracks, Oahu. “Our Soldiers are always striving to find a way to give back and today’s beach clean-up was a great way for them to take a break from training to support this wonderful community.”

Many information booths, such as the Army Corps of Engineers 3Rs (Recognize, Retreat, Report), the Hawai’i Preparatory Academy Sea Turtle Research Conservation Program, and the Hawai’i Division of Aquatic Resources were set up on the beach to educate the public. There was also a trivia spinner wheel game with many great prizes. One Soldier won a free catamaran ride for two. Each volunteer also received a Keep Puako Beautiful t-shirt for their service.

“We always look forward to these opportunities to give back to our incredible Hawaii Island community. Giving back and being part of the community is so important to us here at Pōhakuloa Training Area and is a key part of our mission. The Soldiers who come here to train also fully recognize this, as evidenced by the 35 Soldiers who volunteered! My thanks to the 325 Brigade Support Battalion “Mustangs” of the great 25th Infantry Division for giving back!” said Lt. Col. Kevin Cronin, commander of U.S. Army Garrison Pōhakuloa Training Area.

U.S. Army Garrison Pōhakuloa Training Area is proud to be part of the Big Island community, and coordinates service projects with units that trains at the installation. Public can volunteer for Keep Puako Beautiful events at https://keeppuakobeautiful.com - no endorsement implied; for info only.