Trojans Perform For Veterans


Mililani Public Affairs Officer

The Mililani Trojan JROTC Battalion reached out recently to help the Veterans Affairs Medical Center for the Aging. In this service-learning project, cadets gave thanks to the veterans and performed a talent show.

“We definitely wanted to go beyond our normal service-learning project,” explained service learning coordinator, Cadet 1st Lt. Darius Usborne. “We wanted to make a larger impact on those around us, so we thought about a veteran-based project.”

Preparation for the April 17 project started months in advance.

“In class, we created a timeline through a flow chart,” said 1st Lt. Lucy Grace. “The flowchart was a valuable tool; it kept us on track and covered the entire process of our project, so we’re not going in unprepared.”

A week prior to the project visit, Veteran Affairs therapist Terry Luke spoke to the class to give them a feel for what was to be expected. The briefing included an explanation about the medical conditions the residents face and their treatment programs.

The purpose of the trip was more than educational, said battalion commander Lt. Col. Natasha Parowski.

“We wanted to remind the veterans of their importance to the community,” she said. “It’s important for the veterans to interact with those outside of their care home, and having the opportunity to visit these veterans was truly an honor and inspiring.”

In addition to the talent show, which included performances by JROTC members Joy Sanchez, Martiza Segovia and Ryan Williams, the veterans were presented with handmade thank-you cards along with handmade leis and Army wristbands.

“It was really an honor to perform because just being able to see these veterans smile – and some even started dancing along – was such an amazing sight, and I hope I’d be able to do it again next year,” said Sanchez.

They may have their chance.

As an upcoming project, the battalion hopes to create a garden and distribute painted pots to the residents.