By Stefanie Gardin, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii Public AffairsNovember 27, 2009
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii - The sound of music, laughter and camaraderie will fill the air around Sills Field, here, Nov. 19, as U.S. Army-Hawaii celebrates the return of its warrior heroes with "A Tropic Homecoming."
The free family event, which kicks off at 4 p.m., marks the successful return of more than 3,500 Soldiers from the 25th Infantry Division's (ID) Headquarters and 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT), and from the 8th Theater Sustainment Command's 84th Engineer Battalion and 8th Military Police Brigade, throughout the past few months.
"We wanted to celebrate the return of our redeploying Soldiers ... what better way than to plan a homecoming event'" said Stacy Harding, Recreation Activities chief, Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (FMWR), whose team planned and held a similar event in March, the Strykeback Bash, for returning 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team Soldiers.
The celebration will feature a free performance by country music star Lee Ann Womack, at 6:30 p.m., courtesy of the United Service Organizations (USO).
Also, recently redeployed Soldiers can enter for a chance to win a car by stopping at the Tony Group Autoplex display; Soldiers must be present to win.
A variety of food will be available for purchase from Papa John's, Just Tacos, Ruby Tuesday and AAFES. As an added bonus, recently redeployed Soldiers can eat compliments of Papa John's, Just Tacos and Ruby Tuesday, by presenting a meal voucher.
Vouchers are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis through each Soldier's unit family readiness support assistant, according to Harding.
Families and Soldiers should bring their own low-back chairs or blankets for seating. Pets, glass products and grills are prohibited.
Harding added that this event is a group effort of Army and community businesses coming together to thank Hawaii Soldiers and families for their service and support.
"[To our Soldiers,] thank you for all you have done and continue to do," Harding said. "You render what we at home value most - the right to freedom. Each of you has made personal sacrifices and has played an important part in protecting our country. We truly appreciate your selfless service and unwavering commitment to our country. FMWR salutes you and your family members for your strength and dedication during these difficult times."
Earlier in the day, an official ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. at Sills Field, to formally honor the service of all 25th ID Soldiers who have recently redeployed from combat operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Family and friends are invited to share in the aloha at this ceremony, as well.
For more information, call the Recreation Activities Office at 808-655-0112/3.