Hawaii reservists give back to local school

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Phyllis Keith
  • 624th Regional Support Group Public Affairs

While Chief Master Sgt. George Silva III and other members of the 48th Aerial Port Squadron were deployed to Ali Al Salem, Kuwait, children from a local elementary school located outside the gate of Hickam Field, Hawaii, sent care packages to them.


The packages included much needed and appreciated toiletry items such as soap, toothpaste and deodorant--more than enough for the 30-plus Hawaii-based air transportation specialists known as "port dawgs," as well as other airmen on station.


On June 4, 2014, after Silva returned from his 6-month deployment, he made a special trip to the school, Holy Family Catholic Academy, and presented the principal, Christina Malins, a flag that had flown over Iraq.


As part of his job as an air transportation superintendent, Silva flew into Iraq on missions with the 737th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, a C-130E Hercules airlift squadron that had reactivated Sept. 11, as part of the war on terrorism. The commander of the 737th EAS, Lt. Col. John Trovalo, signed a certificate of appreciation for the school that Silva also presented to Malins.


As a special treat, on behalf of the 48th APS, Silva donated an assortment of sports equipment to the school--kickballs, basketballs, and footballs.


Silva said it meant a lot to the troops to be acknowledged by the local "ohana" or community when they were so far away from the islands that the reservists call home. He said the school had sent care packages to the unit back in 2010, and the port dawgs wanted to give something back and let the kids know their support of his squadron did not go unnoticed.


The 48th APS is part of the 624th Regional Support Group, the largest Air Force Reserve unit in the Pacific, with squadrons located on the islands of Oahu and Guam. For information on how you can join the 624th RSG located at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, call 800-257-1212, or go to www.afreserve.com.