Sailors Give Back to Hawaiian Community with 19th Annual ‘Operation Aloha’

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Sailors from Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station, Pacific (NCTAMS PAC) joined volunteers to provide and serve a hot holiday meal to the homeless in Haleiwa, Hawaii on Nov. 27.

The NCTAMS PAC Sailors, along with the Waialua Community Association and Girl Scouts from Troops 360 and 530, shared Thanksgiving spirit with others by giving back to the community.

“This is the nineteenth straight year we have hosted Operation Aloha,” said Capt. Janet Stewart, commanding officer, NCTAMS PAC. “Everyone at the command looks forward to this event each year.”

Operation Aloha is a Thanksgiving Day tradition during which volunteers offer a holiday meal, including entertainment, for Oahu’s North Shore community.

Sailors and civilian employees along with their family members dedicated long hours throughout the year to raise funds and collect canned food items in preparation for the event.

“This year we raised just over $18,000 and collected 5,000 pounds of non-perishable food items,” said Lt. Ralph Stephens, NCTAMS PAC technical control division officer and this year’s coordinator. “We have also received many charitable contributions, including 30 turkeys, from local companies.”

Every year, the Waialua Community Center hosts the Thanksgiving dinner. With the help of children from St. Michael’s School and Wahiawa Girl Scouts the simple gymnasium is transformed into a festive hall.

“It’s great to see the children willing to help out so openly,” said Stephens. “Not only are we making an impact on the lives of those less fortunate, but also the lives of the community’s youth.”

“This is just one of the many great things our military does throughout the year for the local community,” said U.S. Rep. Mazie K. Hirono. “Residents of all ages open their hearts for each other and we become one big family.”

At the end of the day, more than 400 people enjoyed the meal put together by the NCTAMS PAC team.

“In 26 years in the military, this is by far the most heart-warming experience that I have ever had the pleasure to be a part of,” said Stewart.

Michael Hight

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