2005 GAWDA Gives Back Donor Listing
Since before World War II and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii has been and continues to be home for the Pacific forces defending our country. Our military and naval bases in Hawaii are an integral part of the Hawaiian way of life. The total population of Hawaii is 1.2 million people. Over 107,000 service personnel and dependents are currently stationed in Hawaii, approximately 9% of the population.
Life in the armed forces is very difficult. This is especially true for junior-enlisted men and women and even more so for those with young families. The ASYMCA helps meet this challenge by offering essential programs such as childcare, hospital assistance, spouse support services, food services, computer training classes, health and wellness services, holiday meals and even financial assistance.
As Chris and I were searching for a location for Gives Back, we were struck by the opportunity and need to improve the quality of life for our service people. These are the individuals on the front lines defending our nation. The quality of their life and their families should be a given. For that reason, Chris and I are happy to announce the Hawaii Chapter of the Armed Services YMCA as this year’s recipient of GAWDA Gives Back.
In addition, last fall the Hawaii chapter of ASYMCA established the Hawaii Wounded and Fallen Hero Fund. The fund was established to support the Hawaii-based military serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, who were wounded in action and the families of those killed in action. In recalling the helicopter crash last January, Col. Jeff Patterson, who commands Kaneohe’s 3 rd Marine Regiment, said that many were prompted to enlist after Sept. 11, 2001. Ten were married, one was engaged. Three Marines never got to see their newborn children. Gov. Linda Lingle at the above ceremony stated, “They each brought a part of their hometowns and part of their families here to us and our community. The loss of these men was felt across the world, but perhaps nowhere as deeply as here in this state.” There have been numerous other casualties to Hawaii based servicemen.
ASYMCA is entirely self funded through individual donations, corporate contributions, and a standing YMCA endowment. ASYMCA receives no funding from the U. S. government.
One of the best ways to support American troops is to support their families, an effort in which you can assist through your contribution to GAWDA Gives Back.
This year also marks the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II. Let’s remember that many of the founders of NWSA were those returning servicemen. Tom Brokaw in his book referred to them as the “Greatest Generation”. We can show this generation how we feel about them. As they defend our country in Iraq and Afghanistan let’s have a record breaking year for GAWDA Gives Back.
OPERATION SUPPORT starts today with a GOAL.
As we celebrate the 60th Anniversary of GAWDA with a convention in Hawaii, Chris and I thank you in advance for your generosity.
Chris and Bob Thornton