HONOLULU, HI, UNITED STATES
Story by Seaman Chris Thomas
Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet
JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii – The USO and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) have partnered to donate meals and crafts to affected service members and their families, as the Navy works to restore safe drinking water at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH).
MWR and USO personnel have been serving free meals and providing crafts for approximately three weeks. For example, on Dec. 28, MWR served teriyaki meatballs with rice and vegetables in bento boxes. Other meals have included chicken sandwiches, hamburger steak, pizza and prime rib.
In addition to the meals, the team is providing access to crafting supplies and games for the children of service members – board games, basketballs and movies. “I just like giving back to the community,” said Cody Dunham, an MWR Staff programmer. “It feels good to help out, especially right now with everything going on.”
A variety of other organizations have also joined the effort to support affected families. “Last week, we had the Navy’s Child and Youth Program helping us to provide staffing to assist,” Ichiyama said. “A lot of people are showing their support.”
On Dec. 24, the USO and MWR teamed with the Navy League, Defense Commissary Agency, Toys for Tots, and other local organizations to host a holiday event for families residing in Waikiki hotels. The event included food, arts and craft supplies, music from the U.S. Pacific Fleet Band, and pictures with Santa.
Services are provided at the Makai Recreation Center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. Eason Ichiyama, a manager for MWR Liberty Hawaii said the organization is focused on
helping residents affected by the water quality while the Navy is flushing contaminated water from the supply system.
“They got displaced from their homes, so we’re trying to make their lives easier for a part of their day.”
About 4000 service members and their families are residing in temporary lodging. Those who opted to stay in their homes are unable to use water for drinking or cooking until the distribution system is flushed and tested.
The U.S. military is working closely with the State of Hawaii, Department of Health, Honolulu Board of Water Supply, U.S. government and independent organizations to restore a safe water delivery system to JBPHH military housing communities through testing, treatment, and repair. For detailed information, including available resources and locations, and news, go to www.navy.mil/jointbasewater.
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