Marines, Community Make Improvements At Bellows

Marines, Community Make Improvements At Bellows

Sgt Patrick Pouchie (left), a military police officer with the Marine Corps Base Hawaii Provost Marshal's Office, helps Taylor Kaneshiro-Hayata, a Hawaii Job Corps student, cover signs with masking tape prior to painting the comfort station at Bellows Field Beach Park. Photo by Kristen Wong.

WAIMANALO, Hawaii (April 28, 2015) — The wind whipped around Marines and civilians at Bellows Field Beach Park as they scraped, painted and cleaned the comfort stations, April 28, 2015.

Members of the Honolulu Police Department, Marine Corps Base Hawaii's Provost Marshal's Office and the Hawaii Job Corps spent the day repainting two comfort stations on the beach.

As the group gathered in the morning, LtCol David Bohn, the base inspector of MCB Hawaii, thanked everyone for coming. He commented that this would definitely be an improvement not only for residents of Waimanalo, but visitors as well.

The overall project was a collaborative effort between the Marine Corps and Honolulu Police Department, and took nearly a month and a half of planning.

HPD Lt Tasman McKee was one of the officers providing labor for the project. McKee said the District Four commander would like to maintain and strengthen a positive relationship with the Marine Corps.

"This is an opportunity for us to move forward and take ownership of these facilities in our parks along with the Marine base because we share this property and (want to) provide a better place for the community," McKee said.

With supplies provided by the City and County of Honolulu and local legislators, the group separated into two groups and began scraping old paint off the walls of the comfort stations. Some members of the group also collected trash in the park.

"We're moving," said HPD Officer Gaynor Minton. "The prep is going really well. I think it's a great opportunity for everybody to get together, to actually work together."

The Hawaii Job Corps, is a free program run by the U.S. Department of Labor, supports qualifying teenagers ages 16 and older who come from low-income families. The program helps them finish school and train in various careers, from the automotive to culinary industries.

During this project, 20 students from the Job Corps' paint shop were on-site to support the volunteers.

Gary Silva, a career technical instructor with the Hawaii Job Corps, said the Job Corps uses the comfort stations occasionally during school picnics at Bellows Field Beach Park. This also isn't the first time the Job Corps has worked with the military. Job Corps students have helped Bellows Air Force Station with the annual Makahiki celebration, also held at the park.

"(Supporting these type of activities is) a way for our students (to give) back to the military and to the community," Silva said.

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