U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific

 

U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific

In Any Clime and Place

USO sponsors Military Appreciation Day at Honolulu Zoo

By Cpl. Juan D. Alfonso | July 05, 2008

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Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Ken Lofgren and his 20-month-old son pet goats June 28 at the Honolulu Zoo's Keiki Zoo during Military Appreciation Day. The event featured numerous face painting and coloring stations for children to enjoy. Lofgren is an OH-58-D pilot with B Troop, 2-6 Cavalry.

Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Ken Lofgren and his 20-month-old son pet goats June 28 at the Honolulu Zoo's Keiki Zoo during Military Appreciation Day. The event featured numerous face painting and coloring stations for children to enjoy. Lofgren is an OH-58-D pilot with B Troop, 2-6 Cavalry. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Ronald Stauffer)


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Kai Carro Smiles as an artist peels a butterfly sticker tattoo off her hand June 28 at the Honolulu Zoo during Military Appreciation Day. The event featured numerous face painting and coloring stations for children to enjoy. Carro is an 18-month-old Navy Dependant.

Kai Carro Smiles as an artist peels a butterfly sticker tattoo off her hand June 28 at the Honolulu Zoo during Military Appreciation Day. The event featured numerous face painting and coloring stations for children to enjoy. Carro is an 18-month-old Navy Dependant. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Ronald Stauffer)


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The Air Force Band of the Pacific, "Hanahau" give a performance June 28 at the Honolulu Zoo during Military Appreciation Day.

The Air Force Band of the Pacific, "Hanahau" give a performance June 28 at the Honolulu Zoo during Military Appreciation Day. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Ronald Stauffer)


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Maj. Nick Nuzzo and his 2-year-old daughter Iolana color a Zebra mask together June 28 at the Honolulu Zoo during Military Appreciation Day. The event featured numerous face painting and coloring stations for children to enjoy. Nuzzo is an officer with 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division.

Maj. Nick Nuzzo and his 2-year-old daughter Iolana color a Zebra mask together June 28 at the Honolulu Zoo during Military Appreciation Day. The event featured numerous face painting and coloring stations for children to enjoy. Nuzzo is an officer with 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Ronald Stauffer)


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Dozens of children play on a fake giraffe June 28 at the Honolulu Zoo during Military Appreciation Day, sponsored by the United Services Organization, the zoo and the city and county of Honolulu.

Dozens of children play on a fake giraffe June 28 at the Honolulu Zoo during Military Appreciation Day, sponsored by the United Services Organization, the zoo and the city and county of Honolulu. (Photo by Cpl. Juan D. Alfonso)


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(From left to right) Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Andrew Lincoln and his sons, Reagan and Franklin search for a cheetah June 28 at the Honolulu Zoo. Lincoln and his family attended Military Appreciation Day, sponsored by the United Services Organization, the zoo and the city and county of Honolulu. Lincoln is an Operations Specialist with Coast Guard Sector, Honolulu.

(From left to right) Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Andrew Lincoln and his sons, Reagan and Franklin search for a cheetah June 28 at the Honolulu Zoo. Lincoln and his family attended Military Appreciation Day, sponsored by the United Services Organization, the zoo and the city and county of Honolulu. Lincoln is an Operations Specialist with Coast Guard Sector, Honolulu. (Photo by Cpl. Juan D. Alfonso)


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(From left to right) Karen Weinburg and her daughter Madison watch gharials June 28 at the Honolulu Zoo during Military Appreciation Day, sponsored by the United Services Organization, the zoo and the city and county of Honolulu. The Weingurgs are Army dependants.

(From left to right) Karen Weinburg and her daughter Madison watch gharials June 28 at the Honolulu Zoo during Military Appreciation Day, sponsored by the United Services Organization, the zoo and the city and county of Honolulu. The Weingurgs are Army dependants. (Photo by Cpl. Juan D. Alfonso)


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HONOLULU -- Thousands of service members, retirees and their families attended Military Appreciation Day June 28 at the Honolulu Zoo.

United Services Organization of Hawaii, the city and county of Honolulu and the Honolulu Zoo, sponsored the event to demonstrate the community’s appreciation for service members and the hardships their families endure.

“It is important to honor our service men and women and their families with a day of food, entertainment and goodwill at one of the wildest places you can go in our community — the Honolulu Zoo,” said Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann during a recent news interview. “All of us in Hawaii owe so much to the members of our armed forces and the families that support them.”

During the event, which took place from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., the zoo offered free admission to every valid, military ID card holder, including retirees and their families, and free picnic lunches to the first 8,000 attendees.

The day featured live performances by local musicians, such as the Royal Hawaiian Band, and performances by the Air Force Band of the Pacific “Hanahau.”

“It’s not often that something is completely free to the military and their families,” said Sgt. David Oliver, an administration clerk with U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific. “My family has had a blast and looks forward to what else (the city and USO can) come up with.”

Children had opportunities for face painting, sticker tattooing, a fishing game and coloring stations spread throughout the grounds.

But as expected, families particularly enjoyed seeing all sorts of wild and exotic creatures and interacting with farm animals at the Keiki Zoo, a children’s petting zoo on the grounds.

“My family and I just love the whole thing,” said Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Juan Carro, master at arms for Naval Station Pearl Harbor Hawaii’s Harbor Patrol. “My daughter’s been making animal noises all day and it’s been great getting away from work and spending time with my family. I just really want to thank the USO for putting this all together.”

But it was the USO that wanted to thank Carro and his fellow service members.

“We just really wanted to say thank you,” said Karen Finley, one of 200 USO volunteers at the event. “Military people and their families give up so much for us. We just felt it was time for us to do something where they could have some fun.”