HONOLULU – In recognition of Hawaii’s active duty military service men, women and families, Gov. David Ige, in partnership with the Military Affairs Council (MAC) of the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii, proclaimed May 2019 as Hawaii Military Appreciation Month.
Since 1999, the month of May has been recognized as Military Appreciation Month following a Congressional designation that provided an opportunity to formally acknowledge the sacrifices and achievements of our nation’s armed forces.
“Hawaii’s military plays a significant role in our community and economy,” said Gov. David Ige. “Military Appreciation Month provides us an opportunity to honor these distinguished men and women for their sacrifice and commitment to protecting our freedoms and security. We are truly grateful for their outstanding service.”
Following the proclamation ceremony, Gov. Ige was joined by members of the MAC, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM) and representatives of the six service branches to recognize military service members for their exceptional volunteerism in Hawaii. The six honorees are credited with dedicating their free time supporting Hawaii’s youth, helping underserved communities, bridging together members of the community with the military, and setting a positive example for their fellow men and women in uniform.
“During Military Appreciation Month and throughout the year, the Military Affairs Council is honored to support Hawaii’s brave service men and women,” said Connie Lau, MAC chairperson. “Not only do they offer their service to our nation, they also serve and actively participate within our local communities. We congratulate today’s six honorees who exemplify selfless service and thank them for their commitment, hard work and dedication to our country, and Hawaii.”
The 2019 outstanding military volunteers are:
- YN1 Lauren A. Allen, United States Navy
With more than 140 hours in community service, Allen has dedicated her time off to help a vast range of nonprofits. She has volunteered with USINDOPACOM’s “Ohana Produce” events by providing more than 800 families with groceries. In addition, Allen volunteers at the Pacific Aviation Museum, Hawaii Humane Society, Paepae O He`eia Site Clean Up as well as bringing awareness and education to Hawaii’s youth through Jump Rope for Heart and Drug Education for Youth.
- YNI Wilma W. Caed, United States Navy
Caed’s volunteer work has impacted the lives of local and military families. When off duty, she assisted Tripler Army and Queen’s Medical Center patients and their family members with grocery shopping, day-to-day errands, as well as hosted a dinner for one of the patients who had successfully completed chemotherapy treatments. Similarly, she helped to set up children’s Christmas party for over 40 military children and their families, in addition to volunteering 44 hours to supporting the Armed Services YMCA Ohana Food Drop.
- Sgt Lacey Dauphine, United States Marine Corp.
Dauphine’s community activity has involved engaging her peers to stay healthy, keep our environment clean, beautiful and safe. Her volunteer work includes beach clean-ups, assisting the Institute for Human Services, the Honolulu Bicycling League, and the Special Olympics Bowl-A-Thon.
- SSgt Tara Macion, Hawaii Air National Guard
Macion has dedicated her time off by volunteering numerous hours with local nonprofits such as Kokua Closet and Entertaining Angels, a homeless outreach program that distributes food, hygiene products, fellowship and support. In addition, Allen has participated in various community events from beach clean ups, donation drives to organizing events for her unit. Recently, she assisted the launch of “Care Portal”, an online tool that connects state caseworkers and local Oahu churches. Her selfless acts have earned her recognition as 2018 Hawaii Air National Guard Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year.
- SrA Katherine R. Paxton, United States Air Force
Paxton spends her free time with Habitat for Humanity renovating senior homes, raising funds for the International Powwow Foundation so local tribes can come together and celebrate the Native American culture, and since 2017 she has volunteered with the Special Olympics during their events. Paxton’s commitment to serving others has influenced her peers to collect donations for school supply. She also supported Project PB&J and Power of the Purse, where she rallied 250 personnel and collected feminine products, hygiene items and distributed them to women in need throughout the island.
- 1LT Mikayla Stewart, United States Army
Stewart has helped with many service projects ranging from feeding the homeless, serving as a mentor, planning an annual youth summit to raising $6,000 in scholarships for students. Most recently, she participated in Ka`ala Elementary School’s Career Day, explaining her daily duties as a MEDEVAC pilot. From her volunteerism she has been able to build a relationship between the military and local community, creating a trustful bond. Stewart is also an active member of a nationally recognized community service organization, known as the Hawaii Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
At today’s ceremony, the honorees were provided with gifts of appreciation from MAC members AT&T, Hawaiian Electric Company, Lyft, Matson and Par Hawaii.
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About the Hawaii Military Affairs Council:
The Hawaii Military Affairs Council (MAC), part of the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii, acts on behalf of the state of Hawaii to advocate and liaise with the military. As a major economic generator for the state, the MAC supports efforts that will preserve the military’s role as a strategic headquarters in the Asia-Pacific region. Comprised of business leaders and retired U.S. military personnel, the organization also aims to bridge the military and the community, endorse the needs of Hawaii-based military commands, and attract public-private ventures with the military.