FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii – U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii opens the doors to its new Survivor Outreach Services Center, here, Oct. 13 at 10:30 a.m. in a dedication ceremony for all the families of Fallen Soldiers of the U.S. Army in Hawaii and of the Pacific.
Fifteen families from across Hawaii and the mainland will gather to hang photos and stories of the Soldiers they have loved and lost, in the main entrance “Ohana Room,” and to view the building dedicated in their memory.
The center, named “Halia Aloha,” Hawaiian for “cherished or loving memory; to remember fondly,” is intended to meet the short- and long-term needs of the Families of the Fallen, or “Survivors,” according to Elisabeth Olsen, the Army Community Services outreach director, who herself is a Survivor.
“In the past, many families who have lost loved ones due to war also felt as if they lost their ‘military family’ as well, that there was nowhere to turn when they needed help, and that they were no longer a part of the Army community,” Olsen said. “We want them to know that this is not the case, that the SOS Center is here to embrace all Survivor Families. It‟s a place they can turn to for help for the rest of their life, if need be.”
The center is the first of its kind in Hawaii and the Pacific, and serves the families of the Active Duty Army, Army National Guard, and Army Reserves, to provide the coordination of resources and referrals for Army, state and local programs.
“Army families give so much of themselves and endure great hardship while their loved ones are deployed in harm’s way, but to then suffer the tragic loss of a spouse, parent, child or sibling is something that few of us could hardly imagine bearing, yet they do,” said Col. Douglas S. Mulbury, commander, USAG-HI. “The services provided by the SOS Center serve as a lifelong commitment to our families, letting them know that we will always be there for them.”
From the Public Affairs Office, U.S. Army Garrison, Hawaii.