Paying It Forward With Respect
I want to thank U.S. Army Spc. Ramones of Fort Jackson, S.C., who paid for my breakfast at Kamehameha Shopping Center McDonald’s after learning that I was a U.S. soldier 59 years ago. I was overwhelmed by her gesture.
I failed to get her first name. She served at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. I am a senior grateful for her thoughtfulness.
“I am Hawaiian, I am a soldier and I am proud to be both,” says Harmoni Ramones, Army Reserve soldier with 322nd Civil Affairs Brigade “Kalahui.” “I believe it was during our December battle assembly when I met Mr. Auyong while standing in line at McDonald’s in the Kalihi shopping center. I remember how kind and excited he was to tell his story. He was stationed here in Hawaii many years ago and deployed during the draft.
“He said he and a friend planned to enlist together, but his friend had flat feet and couldn’t join. Like myself, he went to basic combat training in Fort Jackson, S.C. He was married to his wife for many years until she passed away just a few years ago. It was such a beautiful thing seeing and meeting someone who paved the way for me to be able to wear the uniform. It was actually his turn in line at the register, but I managed to place my order first, then motioned for him to place his. Unknowingly, he placed his order and I handed the cashier my card.
By serving in the Army in the past, he helped provide the opportunity that exists today for people in Hawaii like myself to have a career in the Army.
“It was a tremendous joy to pay it forward to someone who defended our nation. By serving in the Army in the past, he helped provide the opportunity that exists today for people in Hawaii like myself to have a career in the Army. He truly is the one who paid it forward.”
A standing ovation to you both. Harmoni also can be found providing full-time support as unit administrator for 962nd Quartermaster Company (Mortuary Affairs), 302nd Transportation Terminal Battalion, 9th Mission Support Command, mission headquarters for all Army Reserve units throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
Our thanks to 311 Signal Command PAS Liana Kim for helping us track down our angel in uniform.
On Saturday, I went to Costco Hawaii Kai to buy some medical supplies for my husband, who has cancer. I had some pretty bulky items, which were difficult for this 79-year-old to carry on the bus.
While I was at the stoplight across from the bus stop, a very nice young man stopped to talk. He had been in the Costco line behind me. We talked for a while, and I was so impressed by how polite he was.
His name was Eric, and he had retired from the Navy but still worked at three other jobs. When I told him I was going to wait for the bus, he said, “Lordy, you can’t take all of that on the bus! Let me take you home.”
I would not normally accept a ride from a stranger, but after talking we both felt we were old friends. He went out of his way to take me home to McCully, even stopping at a 7-Eleven to buy me a bottle of water because I was so tired and parched.
Eric is a real gentleman and deserves APPLAUSE.
Although it is inadvisable to ever accept a ride from someone you don’t know, it seems you found an angel in Eric Tarvin.
“She was loaded with all these big packages,” he says. “After telling me about her husband, I felt I had to help in some small way. She was a nice lady, and I was happy to drive her home.”
If you know someone who deserves some Applause, send your letters to Pamela Young, MidWeek Applause, KITV, 801 S. King St., Honolulu, HI 96813. Include your name, phone number and, if possible, the phone number of your “applaudee” so we can contact him or her.