By Kyle Ford, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii Public AffairsNovember 3, 2009
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii - The fourth annual Soldier Appreciation Breakfast treated more than 300 Soldiers and family members to a hot meal at the Main Post Chapel Annex, here, Oct. 25.
Following Mass, which was presided over by the Archbishop for Military Services Timothy Broglio, members of the Knights of Columbus councils, 14663, St. John Apostle and Evangelist, in Mililani; and 6302, Our Lady of Sorrows, in Wahiawa; as well as the St. Damien church community, served up heaping plates of eggs, potatoes, rice and sausage to returning warriors and families.
"Every year we try and coordinate this breakfast to coincide with either a big deployment or redeployment to show the troops what they mean to us," said Matt Momiyama, Knights of Columbus, council 6302, Wahiawa. "This year, we based the breakfast on the deployment cycle of when the 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team got back. That it happened while the Archbishop for the Military Services was in Hawaii was just divine intervention."
Soldiers returning from Iraq were happy to be recognized with the meal.
"It\'s nice to come home and feel welcomed by the community," said returning warrior Lt. Col. Robert Jean, commander, 4th Military Transition Team, Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC), 25th Infantry Division (ID).
The Knights of Columbus is a Catholic, charitable, fraternal organization that supports the Catholic church, programs of evangelization and Catholic education, civic involvement and aid to those in need.
Momiyama said the Hawaii councils of the Knights put this breakfast together, "because most of us are retired military, and it's a great way we can support our Soldiers."
"What better way [is there] to show your appreciation, than to treat Soldiers and their families to a nice, relaxing meal'" Momiyama asked.
"[The breakfast] is something they have been doing for years," said Lt. Col. Sue Ting, deputy inspector general, 25th ID, who recently returned from Iraq. "It brings folks together in a social environment, out of work, to enjoy camaraderie and fellowship. It's extra nice to have the archbishop here with us. The timing was great because most of us are back now."
One Soldier had a unique perspective on the event.
"As a Soldier, the breakfast lets us know that we're appreciated for what we do overseas," said Sgt. 1st Class Derek Wise, scout platoon sergeant, HHC, 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, and member of the Knights of Columbus. "As a Knight, this event gets people in the community and brings them together in the spirit of fellowship. Additionally we hope people decide to look closer at our organization.