Soldiers volunteers at farm
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Soldiers from 2nd Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment training with Kahua Pa’a Mua Farms workers, July 27, 2023. Courtesy photo. (Photo Credit: Amy Phillips) VIEW ORIGINAL
Soldiers volunteer at a farm
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Soldiers from 2nd Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment training at U.S. Army Garrison Pōhakuloa Training Area (PTA) volunteered to lend a helping hand at Kahua Pa’a Mua Farms in North Kohala, July 27, 2023. Courtesy photo. (Photo Credit: Courtesy) VIEW ORIGINAL

More than a dozen Soldiers from 2nd Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment (2-6 CAV) training at U.S. Army Garrison Pōhakuloa Training Area (PTA) volunteered to lend a helping hand at Kahua Pa’a Mua Farms in North Kohala, July 27, 2023. The Soldiers removed debris and invasive plants, and enhanced a classroom structure. They also enjoyed learning about the Hawaiian culture and history and were treated to a Hawaiian lunch that included vegetables from the farm.

“We have a long-standing Memorandum of Understanding with the Kahua Pa’a Mua Farms and are immensely grateful of the mutually beneficial partnership,” said PTA Commander Lt. Col. Timothy Alvarado. “This document allows us to continually support the local community while enhancing the Army’s appreciation and understanding of the Hawaiian culture.”

"The experience I had at the outreach event reminded me of why I joined the Army,” said Pfc. Emily Glidewell who hails from Fort Smith, Arkansas. “Uncle David and Uncle Jerry told us that what we did for them was a huge blessing, but in all honesty, it was a blessing to me!”

She appreciated learning more about the Hawaiian culture, the fellowship of working and eating a homemade meal together. “The way we worked together to serve made me proud to be an American Soldier!" said Glidewell.

Kahua Pa’a Mua Farms is a non-profit organization with the purpose of teaching local children and families about self-sustaining agriculture practices connecting them to their ancestral ways and local traditions.

“Being a part of this event gave me a better understanding of the culture and the values that the community has, as well as the bond they share,” said Cpl. Antonio Hernandez whose hometown is Victorville, California. He is grateful to give back to Hawaii and the opportunity to train on the islands.

“It was “win win” all around. The troops worked real hard every minute from beginning to end,” said “Uncle” David Fuentes who is one of the managers at the farm. “Our workers connected with them like ‘ohana while they shared their manao’ and cultural exchange. It was a beautiful productive day!”