Windward Oahu residents, businesses rally around Marines

Windward Oahu residents, businesses rally around Marines

KAILUA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The people who live and work near the Kaneohe Marine Corps Base said Friday the entire community is rallying around the Marines after an apparent training accident left 12 Marines missing at sea.

Aikahi Park Shopping Center sits just a few blocks from the base, and is often full of Marines and their families shopping and eating various stores and restaurants.

At Boston's Pizza Aikahi, Manager Joshua Arnold estimated 70 percent of his business comes from Marines and their families.

"Hopefully we all band together and show support. It's definitely a tragic event. And just keep them in our thoughts," Arnold said.

Oz Rous got out of the Marines two years ago and works on base as a contractor.

"What I can hope for right now is, I hope they get all 12 guys back safe and sound," said Rous.

The community is deeply intertwined, with Marines attending the same churches as their civilian neighbors and their children attending the same schools.

The people who shop at the Aikahi center said this area's close relationship with the Marines gets even closer in times of need.

"So there's been a big attachment of the Marine Corps to Kailua and specifically this area, here," said Gary Weller, a member of the Kailua Neighborhood Board. "I'm hoping for the best that they start finding some of these men but it will be very sad for this community to lose those kinds of people."

Kandi Rothbaum, who lives on Kalaheo Hillside, just a few blocks from the shopping center, said her neighborhood has close ties to many Marines.

"They all have children or wives or moms and dads who are just dying to hear more news and the longer, of course it goes, the more frightening it is for every second that goes by.  So my heart goes out to them," Rothbaum said.

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