New Program To Help Injured Hawaii Troops

Published On: May 20 2008 01:45:04 AM HST
Updated On: May 20 2008 09:21:09 PM HST
TRIPLER ARMY MEDICAL CENTER, Hawaii -

Wounded soldiers recovering at Tripler Army Medical Center will have new things to do during the months while they recover thanks to a new program.

It is called Malama Na Koa, caring for our warriors. The program is designed to help Hawaii's wounded warrior community.

U.S. Attorney Ed Kubo spearheaded the program. He is the son of a retired command sergeant major and the father of a Hawaii reservist.

"Our intent is simply to give these wounded warriors activities, items, gifts and information to help them and ease their family's burdens," Kubo said.

The program has attracted many donations like new DVDs, Nintendo Wiis, tickets to University of Hawaii sporting events, trips to Hanauma Bay and more to help wounded soldiers.

There's always a need for example, at one point last month, there were 242 Schofield Barracks soldiers and 12 Kaneohe Marines who were undergoing treatment for wounds at Tripler.

Schofield-based Spc. Joe Gentile's lower legs were shattered by a roadside bomb in Iraq last July.

He is still undergoing therapy at Tripler, getting used to walking again. Gentile said just having those little things can make a huge difference during recovery.

"If you feel like doing things then you feel happy and you realize that an injury isn't the end of your career or the end of the world in general, having things like this helps, you know, keep things in perspective," Gentile said.

Malama Na Koa wants to keep those things in perspective along with their morale as the wounded warriors heal.

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