Wahiawa Celebrates Veterans Day

WAHIAWA (KHNL) - There was an outpouring of aloha today for Hawaii-based troops fighting for their country.

KHNL News 8's Beth Hillyer was at the annual Veteran's Day parade in Wahiawa.

The Navy band kicks things off. Tanya Kruk says the true meaning of this holiday is,

"To honor the Veterans of today and yesterday. It's not only a day off, there is a reason for it."

The crowd cheers for soldiers from Schofield Barracks. And there's a warm welcome for troops with Hawaii's 442nd regiment.

Spectator Danny Glover comments, "I know the war in Iraq is a heavy thing to deal with, but I know these guys have a job to do and they are not backing down."

Glover shouts out, "Awesome job, thank you sir"

He explains, "To National Guard and all the other troops it's because of them we have our freedom and it's their sacrifice they make for us.

Navy wife Rebecca Brand is amazed, "This is unique, never seen such a big parade such support it's amazing how much the support is here on the island. My husband is in the parade marching with co-workers having a good time I guess."

But Tracy Coffey's husband Ross is not in the parade, "I'm here with my daughter Taylor and son Adam. Ross is in Iraq, Baghdad. It's an emotional day. It's hard to watch the people go by and know that Ross isn't here but it lets you know, gives you a good feeling about what he's doing it's important."

Glover adds, "Keep doing what you are doing. America loves you, we love you. We support you, We back you 100 percent. Pray for families, let God watch over you and bring you home safe to your loving families."

Coffey says, "The community here has been wonderful while Ross has been gone and it would be neat to have him standing here next year watching the parade with us."

Glover sings, "God Bless America my home sweet home"

Thousands of Hawaii-based troops from Schofield Barracks and Marine Corp Base Hawaii are currently deployed in Iraq.