By Mary Simms
WAIPAHU (KHNL) - With the U.S. Military in it's fifth year in Iraq, most soldiers have been deployed to the Middle East once, but many are into their second and third rotations fighting the war. With more than 6,000 Hawaii based Soldiers deployed to Iraq, a local company is working to show support. KHNL News 8's Mary Simms has more on Operation Aloha.
Li hing mui and mochi crunch -- local flavors of Hawaii, deployed soldiers don't get much of.
Operation Aloha is reaching out to Hawaii's deployed Soldiers. Since 2005, Hawaii resident have donated more than $1,500 to buy local snacks for troops. Wholesale Unlimited matches each donation, and sends boxes full of "goodies" like these to deployed soldiers.
"The donations have been really remarkable," said Marc Honma, of Wholesale Unlimited and Operation Aloha. There have been people who, without asking for a care package for someone, donated $100 out of the blue."
"There's nothing better than to receive a care package whether it be from a loved on, or someone that you don't know, said MSG Antonio Williams. It lets you know you have the support of the U.S."
"For a soldier, it makes you feel really good inside," said SGT Eric Lewis.
And "local" flavor makes it even better.
"Everyone misses home, so the more you can make where you're at like home, it just makes things a little bit easier," said 1SG Lewis Martinez.